We provide education regarding stroke recovery and rehabilitation, including 2 topics at Flinders University for health professionals; Early Rehabilitation Following Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation. We appreciate the importance of specialist rehabilitation with a focus on important developments in neuroplasticity, recovery and long-term management of people who have survived a stroke. We design specific treatment plans for upper limb, hand, balance, walking and fitness programs for people with stroke. We provide a proactive approach that allows people with stroke reach their full potential.
We have extensive experience in treatment, education and research regarding neurological rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis. Neurological Physiotherapy can help with a number of issues such as balance, mobility, fatigue management and pain. We also can help set up individualised exercise and fitness programs. We are closely involved wit the MS Society of SA & NT, Flinders University, Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia and Neuroscience Research Australia with important research regarding balance, mobility fatigue and falls risk in people with MS.
NeuroPhysiotherapy can assist with movement strategies to assist some of the movement planning difficulties associated with Parkinson’s disease. These include problems with transitioning from sit to stand, lie to sit and walking. Balance and falls risk can also be assessed by your neurophysiotherapist. Rigid posture and musculoskeletal pain and dystonia can be relieved with a regular home exercise programme which we can help you set up. Exercise and fitness programs can also have multiple benefits for your overall health. In addition we help monitor fluctuations in signs and symptoms, which can be helpful when planning the ideal medication regime with your neurologist or GP.
Traumatic Brain Injury
It is very important to continue with ongoing goal directed rehabilitation which can address the complex physical, cognitive and emotional signs and symptoms that can be associated with brain injury. We have experience and training in this specialist area, and can help establish individualised Neurorehabilitation programs. We can assist with upper limb and hand function, balance, ataxia, spasticity, walking and running!
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury can result in impairments in movement and sensation. Depending on the type of injury, individualised goal directed rehabilitation can focus on important movement dysfunctions. Relearning new skills in movement and posture control is very important, as well as strength and conditioning programs to prevent secondary complication and remaining as independent as possible.
Dystonia is a movement disorder characterised by involuntary muscle activity in a specific parts of the body. There are many forms of genetic and idiopathic dystonia which many believe to be caused by some form of maladaptive neuroplasticity either spontaneously over time, or following trauma, and can also occur in professional musicians following years of intense practice. The aim of NeuroPhysiotherapy is to establish which muscles are involved, the response to intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli and determine other secondary movement compensations. While botulinum toxin can be helpful for many people with dystonia, learning additional movement strategies and strengthening various, specific muscle synergies can further enhance physical rehabilitation.
Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome
When pain becomes persistent and chronic it can lead to maladaptive brain and immune responses. This may result in a cluster of other symptoms controlling temperature, blood supply and sweating. In addition altered movement behaviour and fear of movement can re-enforce poor movement and lead to secondary problems such as ongoing pain, weakness and reduced independence. NeuroPhysiotherapy involves education, self-management and sensorimotor learning exercises to develop new strategies that aim to gain a greater repertoire of functional movement.
Motor Neuron Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
NeuroPhysiotherapy can be an important ingredient in the multidisciplinary support and care for people with motor neurone disease. We can develop management strategies aim to maximise independent mobility, prescribe exercise and give advise regarding fitness programs, pain management as well as providing support and relevant education. We work closely with other professionals to ensure effective and timely care is provided.
We provide individualised advice and exercise to maximise recovery from Guillain-Barre syndrome. Weakness, sensory dysfunction as well as fatigue can limit mobility and functioning in the community. We can provide timely ongoing rehabilitation often following discharge from medical hospital care or inpatient rehabilitation to ensure the most rapid and complete recovery.
The muscular dystrophies area group of genetically determined disorders characterised by muscle weakness. We have experience in the supporting people with advice regarding exercises, musculoskeletal management and safe mobility. Muscular Dystrophy South Australia (MDSA), provide funding support for NeuroPhysiotherapy assessments and hydrotherapy. Nicole runs hydrotherapy for MDSA every Thursdays at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Cerebral Palsy refers to a range of disorders caused by damage to the developing nervous systems before birth or in early infancy. NeuroPhysiotherapy aims to facilitate and promote postural control and improved function. Early intervention can help prevent deformity and deconditioning. Many children have access to some form of therapy throughout childhood, however with transition into adulthood care and support can become disjointed. NeuroPhysiotherapy can help priorities a physical care plan and provide treatment, strengthening and fitness programs plus education on self-management.
There are a number of types of neuropathy that exist which an lead to weakness and/or sensory impairments. Careful, individualised assessment by a NeuroPhysiotherapist can help you assist with a rehabilitation plan, which may also involve close work with other health professionals such as orthotists, podiatrists and your neurologist.
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
Many people with PSP require advice and assistance with regard to stiffness in posture, balance, falls. Difficulty with eye movements can also compound difficulties with mobility, so an individualised program aimed at maximising safe mobility is vey important. We also refer and communicate closely with other health professionals, in particular Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists.
Multi System Atrophy (MSA)
Each person with MSA can present with quite different signs and symptoms raging from stiffness, slowness of movement and dystonia, to co-ordination and balance issues. It is important to have a proactive and individualised rehabilitation plan set in place, which can assist people maximise their independence.
Early intervention is aimed at maximising and accelerating recovery from Bell’s Palsy. Facial muscles (just like any other muscles) require various sensory input to learn skilled movement again, in addition to strengthening and prevention of stiffness and contracture. In addition, it is very important to direct the movement recovery such that unwanted and involuntary facial and eye movements do not occur.
Spinal Cerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
The SCA’s are a group of many types of hereditary ataxias. People with these conditions can develop difficulties with limb/body co-ordination and balance. An individualised programs focussing on gait re-education, balance and secondary prevention of deconditioning can assist in prioritising the rehabilitation to maximise independence throughout life.
Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis
Balance and walking can become difficult due to spasticity and movement compensations. Balance and gait re-education can allow improved postural control and strengthening. We often work closely in conjunction with orthotists and rehabilitation physicians to assist with the management of limb spasticity to prevent muscle contracture and improve safe mobility.
There are a number of conditions that can lead to muscle inflammation, including Polymyositis, Inclusion Body Myositis and Dermatomyositis. Research shows that correctly prescribed exercise is an effective and safe intervention for people with myositis, which has clarified previous concerns about exercise worsening inflammation. A NeuroPhysiotherapist is well placed to oversee an individualised rehabilitation program that will consider other aspects such as motor fatigue, pain, soft tissue massage and adequate rest.