What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is designed to be practiced by licensed physiotherapists whom help restore movement and function to individuals who are affected by injury, illness or disability. Physiotherapists teach patients movements and exercises to be practiced at home or in the studio, manual therapy, educating the patient and giving them advice. This work is aimed at facilitating individual’s recovery from someone pain or discomfort.
How can physiotherapy help neuropathy?
The main goals of physiotherapy for those suffering with neuropathy are to maintain muscle strength, improve gait, balance and coordination. Physiotherapy is a great way to find an active solution for certain areas of neuropathic disorders such as hypersensitivities, numbing, balance deficits, joint stiffness etc. These solutions are found through a variety of different body exercises aimed at strengthening specific muscles and/ or increasing range of motion. The right exercises are low impact that cause no additional damage. Additionally, physiotherapists often offer ultrasound treatment to stimulate circulation within muscle tissues and ideally increase or speed up the healing process.
What can I expect when I see my physiotherapist?
A physiotherapist starts their prognosis and treatment by identifying the origin of the nerve damage and the cause together with the patient. They will then perform an initial test to identify a baseline and determine functional levels. Here they look at balance impairments, pain, motion limitations, and muscular weakness. Once these are established the physiotherapist designs a specialized program for the patient’s needs and is then able to recommend whether the patient would benefit from any bracing or orthotics.
One must always keep in mind that they should consult their physician/neurologist to consider their medical history prior to seeing a physiotherapist so they can identify any risk factors prior to physio treatment.
LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS.
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Sabrina Martini is a student entering the 4th year of her Bachelors of Science, majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge.