Neuro = to do with the nervous system
Rehabilitation = the action of restoring someone back to health and/or to a functional life
The field of neuro-rehabilitation aims to translate neuroscience research toward the goal of maximising your functional recovery after neurological injury.
As a physiotherapist specialising in neurorehabilitation, my overarching goals are not only to help you improve your functional abilities and your personal goals, but to also help you restore your sense of identity. It is a fact that when someone lives with a long-term illness, their previous sense of self undergoes a state of bereavement resulting in a sense of identity loss.
Equally and fundamentally important, is the recovery of your breathing patterns. For example, abnormalities of respiratory function after stroke are common (Barnett et al. 2022), with common dysfunctional breathing patterns including a faster breathing/respiratory rate, sleep apnea, upper chest breathing, and mouth open breathing to name but a few. Each of these dysfunctions reduce the amount of oxygen in the brain that is essential for your brain and your body’s optimal recovery. As an Oxygen Advantage Advanced (breathing) Instructor, I can teach you breathing techniques to help support your neural recovery.
The challenge of maximising someone’s movement potential, especially when they have had a brain insult such as a stroke, or multiple sclerosis for example, is such a rewarding and humbling experience. I see many patients who are living with these types of conditions that are unable to make my home clinic. These specialist rehabilitation sessions are held within the comfort of your own home.
Commonly treated conditions include:
Spinal Cord Injury
Traumatic brain injury
We all have a behavioural response to pain, such as protective muscle guarding actions such as spasms, or feelings of tightness and tension, and/or even stiffness. We can become avoidant of activities that may aggravate our pain. We can also become quite distressed by pain. When living with pain becomes a daily existence, we can lose our sense of worth, our self-esteem, and even lose our sense of identity. Such is the power of pain.
Importantly, these behavioural responses are quite normal, after all, who wants to be in pain. It can prevent us from enjoying the things we live for, like gardening, cooking, walking, or playing with the kids for example. Pain has a purpose. It is an innate, protective, and very normal response of our body and brain, to an injury for example. It lets you know you are alive!
Problems arise when these behavioural responses start to impact on our wellbeing, our mental health, our breathing patterns, sleeping patterns, our leisure habits, our working lives, our eating habits, and our relationships with others. As mentioned, pain is an innate protective response of the body to injury, and incredibly, this normal response can be activated when there is no injury or signs of tissue damage at all.
In fact, pain can be made worse by feelings of stress, worry, anxiousness, and even depression. It can even be made worse by what we eat! Which is just amazing. Just think back to a time when you were stressed, there is a likelihood that you also felt an “old” pain flare up again. The human body is simply phenomenal.
As a specialist within my field of rehabilitation, I will help you make sense of your pain, and together in alliance with you, we will explore your movement patterns, your breathing patterns, regain your confidence, and get you living again.
That is CFT in a nutshell.