Neuro rehab is a type of physical therapy specifically aimed at helping people with neurological conditions achieve the highest level of recovery possible. Patients who have suffered stroke, spinal cord injury or disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease are among those considered good candidates for neurological rehabilitation. Neuro rehab programs are typically tailored to each patient's individual needs, and can include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, dietary counseling, and social counseling. This type of therapy generally seeks to help improve patient mobility and physical strength, and may be done in a clinical setting, or in the home.
Therapists who provide neuro rehab services generally tend to take an holistic approach toward patient care. An extensive interview is generally performed to assess the patient's individual needs and recovery goals. While full recovery may not be possible for many patients, neurological rehab specialists generally seek to help the patient improve as much as possible. They also generally hope to help the patient avoid any worsening of his condition, and to help him stave off future complications related to his condition.
Once the patient has been assessed, the neuro rehab specialist will typically educate him as much as possible about his condition and current level of function. The average patient needs to be counseled on how he can incorporate the lessons of therapy into his daily life, for the best therapeutic results. Family and friends can also be incorporated into the treatment plan. Most therapists place emphasis on motivating and emotionally supporting the patient throughout therapy.
Physical aspects of neuro rehab therapy can include balance exercises, postural exercises, and walking therapy. Strengthening and stretching exercises may be recommended to improve muscle strength. Patients generally learn how to best use physical aids, such as walking equipment.
Psychiatric treatment may be employed to help patients cope with cognitive problems. Occupational therapy is usually ordered to help patients regain or retain the ability to carry out simple daily tasks. These tasks can include bathing, dressing, brushing the teeth, doing housework, and holding down a job. They can also include pursuing hobbies, playing games, improving social skills, and participating in athletic activities.
Speech therapy can benefit patients who have problems swallowing and speaking. Speech therapy can help patients speak more clearly and coherently. It can also help them understand speech and writing, communicate more effectively in writing, and choose more appropriate words when communicating.