What is Neuro Rehabilitation?
Neuro rehabilitation is a complex medical process which aims to aid recovery from a nervous system injury, and to minimize and/or compensate for any functional alterations resulting from it. Neurological rehabilitation is designed for people with diseases, trauma, or disorders of the nervous system. Neurological rehabilitation can often improve function, reduce symptoms, and improve the well-being of the patient.
Neuro rehabilitation is appropriate following:
• Swallowing and Eating
• Speech Therapy
• Giatretic Neuropthy
• Spinal cord injury
• Other neurological injuries or events.
What disabilities can result from a stroke, head injury/trauma or other neurological disorders?
The types and degrees of disability that follow a stroke, head trauma or other neurological disorders depend upon which area of the brain is damaged and how much is damaged. It is difficult to compare one individual’s disability to another since the disorders can damage slightly different parts and amounts of the brain.
• Paralysis or problems controlling movement
• Sensory disturbances including pain
• Problems using or understanding language
• Problems with thinking and memory
• And emotional disturbances.
Neuro rehabilitation Program highlights
• Speech and Communication Program
• Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Vision therapy
What medical professionals specialize in neurological rehabilitation?
The rehabilitation team involves physicians; rehabilitation nurses; physical, occupational, speech-language, and vocational therapists; and mental health professionals like neuropsychologists.
Physicians have the primary responsibility for managing and coordinating the long-term care of stroke survivors, including recommending which rehabilitation programs will best address individual needs. Physicians also are responsible for caring for the stroke survivor’s general health and providing guidance aimed at preventing a second stroke, such as controlling high blood pressure or diabetes and eliminating risk factors such as cigarette smoking, excessive weight, a high-cholesterol diet, and high alcohol consumption.
Neurologists usually lead acute-care stroke teams and direct patient care during hospitalization. They sometimes participate on the long-term rehabilitation team. Other subspecialists often lead the rehabilitation stage of care, especially physiatrists, who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Physical therapists specialize in treating disabilities related to motor and sensory impairments related to the lower body. They are trained in all aspects of anatomy and physiology related to normal function, with an emphasis on movement. They assess the stroke survivor’s strength, endurance, range of motion, gait abnormalities, and sensory deficits to design individualized rehabilitation programs aimed at regaining control over motor functions.
Physical therapists help patients regain the use of impaired limbs, teach compensatory strategies to reduce the effect of remaining deficits and establish ongoing exercise programs to help people retain their newly learned skills. Disabled people tend to avoid using impaired limbs, a behaviour called learned non-use. However, the repetitive use of impaired limbs encourages brain plasticity and helps reduce disabilities.
In general, physical therapy emphasises practising isolated movements, repeatedly changing from one kind of movement to another, and rehearsing complex movements that require a great deal of coordination and balance, such as walking up or down stairs or moving safely between obstacles. Physical therapy emphasizes the effectiveness of engaging in goal-directed activities, such as playing games, to promote coordination. Physical therapists frequently employ selective sensory stimulation to encourage the use of impaired limbs and to help patients with neglect regain awareness of stimuli on the neglected side of the body.
Occupational therapists are concerned with improving motor and sensory abilities of the upper body. They help patients relearn skills needed for performing self-directed activities or ADL’s (activities of daily living) such as personal grooming, preparing meals, and home maintenance. Therapists can teach some survivors how to adapt to driving and provide on-road training. They often teach people to divide a complex activity into its component parts, practice each part, and then perform the whole sequence of actions. This strategy can improve coordination and may help people (example -with apraxia) relearn how to carry out planned actions.
Occupational therapists also teach people how to develop compensatory strategies and change elements of their environment that limit activities of daily living. For example, people with the use of only one hand can substitute hook and loop fasteners (such as Velcro) for buttons on clothing. Occupational therapists also help people make changes in their homes to increase safety, remove barriers, and facilitate physical functioning, such as installing grab bars in bathrooms.
Speech-language pathologists help neurologically impaired survivors to relearn how to use language or develop alternative means of communication. They also help people improve their ability to swallow, and they work with patients to develop problem-solving and social skills needed to cope with the after-effects of a stroke.
Many specialized therapeutic techniques have been developed to assist people with aphasia. Some forms of short-term therapy can improve comprehension rapidly. Intensive exercises such as repeating the therapist’s words, practising following directions, and doing reading or writing exercises form the cornerstone of language rehabilitation. Conversational coaching and rehearsal, as well as the development of prompts or cues to help people remember specific words, are sometimes beneficial. Speech-language pathologists also help patients develop strategies for circumventing language disabilities. These strategies can include the use of symbol boards or sign language. Recent advances in computer technology have spurred the development of new types of equipment to enhance communication.
Speech-language pathologists use special types of imaging techniques to study swallowing patterns of patients and identify the exact source of their impairment. Difficulties with swallowing have many possible causes, including a delayed swallowing reflex, an inability to manipulate food with the tongue, or an inability to detect food remaining lodged in the cheeks after swallowing. When the cause has been pinpointed, speech-language pathologists work with the individual to devise strategies to overcome or minimize the deficit. Sometimes, simply changing body position and improving posture during eating can bring about improvement. The texture of foods can be modified to make swallowing easier; for example, thin liquids, which often cause choking, can be thickened. Changing eating habits by taking small bites and chewing slowly can also help alleviate dysphagia.
Neuropsychologists provide comprehensive neuropsychology evaluations for patients who have sustained brain injuries or other neurological impairments. They work with patients with suspected or documented central nervous system dysfunction (i.e., traumatic brain injury, seizure disorders, brain tumours, stroke, meningitis, encephalitis, history of chemotherapy, Tourette’s disorder, other medical or neurological conditions) that impact learning and behaviour. They also provide intervention services to include therapeutic activities designed to facilitate daily living skills and maximize the patient’s ability to benefit from the least restrictive environment.
How long does it take to recover?
Each neurological disorder is different. The timetable for recovery depends on the extent of the disease process. Other medical complications also determine the length of the recovery process. For example, most of the recovery for stroke patients that is going to take place happens in approximately six months to one year. Patients continue to heal after that, but more slowly.
Levels of care:
• Long-Term Acute Care
• Inpatient Rehabilitation
• Outpatient Rehabilitation
• In-Home Therapy Services
• Pediatric Rehabilitation
• Long-Term Care
• Neuropsychologist services
How will I know if I can handle the patient at home?
After a stroke, head injury or with any neurological disorder, a patient’s ability to move by themselves around their home environment may change. The rehabilitation team of therapists can usually educate the primary caregiver in methods for adapting the home and how to help their loved ones with basic mobility tasks and cognitive safety.
Neuro Rehabilitaion options are available at Senior Citizen Healthcare