Patients with long term chronic conditions struggle to find the support they need in todays Health Service due to increased demands on its resources.
If you have a progressive Neurological Condition or have suffered an injury to your Neurological System, Liberty Physiotherapy's specialist Neurological Physiotherapists are dedicated towards providing effective treatment that can help you progress in your rehabilitation following illness or injury.
We treat many Neurological Conditions such as:
Every year, over 130,000 people in the UK have a stroke. Most are over 65, but some are children and even babies. Around 1,000 will be under 30. It is the single most common cause of severe disability. More than 250,000 people live with disabilities caused by stroke and recovery can be a long and challenging journey.
A stroke is a brain attack
It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. It can be caused by a blockage in one of the blood vessels leading to the brain or a bleed in the brain.
Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain. Without blood your brain cells can be damaged or destroyed.
Strokes affect people in different ways, depending on the part of the brain that is affected, how widespread the damage is and how healthy the person was before the stroke. A stroke can affect the way your body functions as well as your thought processes and how you feel and communicate.
A stroke can also have an emotional impact and can cause problems such as anxiety, depression or changes to your personality.
What causes a stroke?
Most strokes happen when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to your brain. Blood clots usually form in areas where the arteries have become narrowed or ‘furred’ up by fatty deposits. This is called atheroscelrosis.
As we age our arteries become harder and narrower. However, certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can speed up this process and increase your risk of having a stroke.
Medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase your risk of having a stroke.
Lifestyle factors, such as diet, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, smoking and how active you are, can also increase your risk.
Can you recover from a stroke?
All strokes are different. For some people the effects may be relatively minor and may not last long, while others may be left with more serious long term effects.
It is a widely held belief that most improvement happens within six months of a stroke, with little improvement possible thereafter. This can put a lot of pressure on patients during this period of recovery and rehabilitation.
Whilst there is some truth in this, those of us with a lot of practical experience, over longer periods, know that significant improvements can occure after six months and, occasionally, over some years post stroke.
The quicker you receive treatment, the better your chances for a good recovery, so it’s important to call 999 and get to hospital straight away.
Make sure you know how to recognise the symptoms of stroke, you can recognise a stroke by using the FAST test.
FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
TIME to call 999.
If a person fails any one of these tests, get help immediately by dialling 999
For more information visit: http://www.stroke.org.uk/about-stroke
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by a trauma to the head (head injury). There are many possible causes, including road traffic accidents, assaults, falls and accidents at home or at work.
The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be wide ranging, and depend on a number of factors such as the type, location and severity of injury.
The cognitive effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. Different mental abilities are located in different parts of the brain, so a head injury can damage some, but not necessarily all, skills such as speed of thought, memory, understanding, concentration, solving problems and using language.
Communication problems after brain injury are very common. Although most of us take it for granted, the ability to communicate requires extremely complex skills and many different parts of the brain are involved.
Everyone who has had a head injury can be left with some changes in emotional reaction and behaviour. These are more difficult to see than the more obvious problems such as those which affect movement and speech, for example, but can be the most difficult for the individual concerned and their family to deal with.
Executive dysfunction is a term for the range of cognitive, emotional and behavioural difficulties which often occur after injury to the frontal lobes of the brain. Impairment of executive functions is common after acquired brain injury and has a profound effect on many aspects of everyday life.
Most people make an excellent physical recovery after a brain injury, which can mean there are few, or no, outwards signs that an injury has occurred. There are often physical problems present that are not always so apparent, but can have a real impact on daily life.
Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is the time after a period of unconsciousness when the injured person is conscious and awake, but is behaving or talking in a bizarre or uncharacteristic manner.
Rehabilitation after brain injury
Unlike most other cells in the body, brain cells do not regenerate when they are destroyed. However, this does not mean that no recovery can occur. The brain is somewhat flexible and is able to reorganize itself, to an extent, in order to regain lost function. This is known as brain 'plasticity'.
During recovery, other areas of the brain take over the activities of the damaged areas and new nerve pathways can be established using undamaged brain cells. Engaging in activity helps these alternative pathways to develop.
Rehabilitation aims to help the brain learn alternative ways of working in order to minimise the long-term impact of the brain injury. Rehabilitation also helps the survivor and the family to cope successfully with any remaining disabilities.
Neuromuscular Energising Therapy is a treatment technique used by the staff at Liberty Physiotherapy.
SPINAL CORD INJURY
What is spinal cord injury (SCI)?
Anyone at any age can break their neck or back which results in damage to the spinal cord, or develop an illness that leads to damage to the spinal cord.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is caused by damage to the spinal cord. During trauma, for example, the spinal cord is crushed and deprived of its blood supply resulting in loss of function, (paralysis) and loss of sensation below the point of injury. Damage to the spinal cord can also occur through illness, (referred to as non-traumatic SCI) such as tumours, infections or circulatory disorders such as haemorrhage or clot formation within the spinal cord.
What happens when the spinal cord is damaged?
• Because after SCI there is interruption in vital messages going to and from the brain to the rest of the body, various parts of the body may be affected and no longer function properly. Initially following SCI, the spinal cord may be swollen. This is referred to as spinal shock, which can last only hours or several weeks.
• If the spinal cord has only been partially damaged then some sensation and movement may return once the swelling has gone down. With incomplete injuries, it may take weeks for a diagnosis to be reached and up to 2 years for a full optimum recovery to take place.
• If damage to the spinal cord is total or complete then it is unlikely any level of function will return.
• As well as loss of muscle function and sensation below the level of injury, other body organs may be affected by loss of function, for example, the bladder and bowels.
• Some people will loose the ability to sweat below the level of injury.
• The body’s ability to regulate blood pressure can be affected.
• When injury is sustained at a high level the person looses the ability to control their body temperature.
• Very high levels of injury (C1 and C2) will require assistance with breathing, probably with the use of a ventilator.
• Other effects on the body of SCI include fatigue and pain, which may become chronic.
For more information follow the links below
After a freak accident left me with the prospect of being wheelchair bound for life, Charlie King is helping me make the impossible a reality. Charlie's approach using Neuromuscular Energising Therapy (NET) has given me the motivation and education to keep going even through the hard times and the outlook is a lot brighter now.