Treating Neurological Conditions with Therapy
Balance and Falls
If you are suffering from poor balance or frequent falls, our therapists can help find the cause of the problem and work with you to build a plan that will help. Falls can result from a number of factors including certain medications, age and environmental obstacles. During your first visit, your therapist will test your balance and neurological function, evaluate sensation (how you sense and feel the placement of your feet), reflexes, strength, vision, flexibility, coordination and vestibular or inner ear function. We consider lifestyle factors such as poor lighting, furniture or area rugs and environmental factors such as crowds, noise or curbs that can increase the risk of a fall.
You do not need to have fallen to be at risk for injury. The fear of falling can cause a person to avoid activities, leading to loss of strength or flexibility that can actually increase the risk of falling.
Vestibular or Inner Ear Issues
This can cause dizziness, vertigo, nausea, unsteadiness or impaired balance, and can often severely limit your day-to-day activities.
During your first visit, your therapist will evaluate your balance, gait and function and do some tests that may provoke dizziness, nausea or a spinning feeling. Once we have a diagnosis, the therapist will design a
treatment program to minimize these symptoms, improve balance and stability or retrain the central nervous system to adapt to the inner ear dysfunction.
Sometimes, we can treat an inner ear problem and educate you about a home program in one or two visits.
Our physical and occupational therapists work closely with physicians at the Multiple Sclerosis and Demyelinating Disorders Clinic to offer you the best therapies to manage your condition. Your therapist can help reduce fatigue, build endurance and improve movement as well as general wellbeing and mood. The therapies will help you — whether you have been recently diagnosed, or have had multiple sclerosis relapses or exacerbations.
Your therapist will develop an individualized treatment program to address your specific condition and requirements.
If you have Parkinson's disease or other movement disorders, our therapists work side-by-side with your care team of physician, PCP, nurse practitioner and others to help you live life to the fullest.
The Movement Disorders Center is a multidisciplinary outpatient program to diagnose and treat patients with parkinsonian syndromes, tremors, gait disorders, dystonia, spasticity, dyskinesias, tic disorders, chorea and drug-induced movement disorders. Our therapists will evaluate your specific symptoms during your first visit help you manage symptoms.
Occupational and Physical Therapy Treatment
Regardless of your neurological problem, your therapist will build a treatment program designed around your needs. Your treatment will likely include:
- Exercises for strength, coordination, flexibility and balance.
- Instructions in a home exercise program.
- Advice about equipment.
- Communication with your doctor.
Balance treatment will likely include advice about shoes and specific changes at home to improve safety. For inner ear disorders, treatment may also include specific movements and exercises to correct or retrain the ear and brain to improve your sense of balance. For MS therapy, we may advice you on how to pace your activity to avoid fatigue. And our therapists may include exercises to improve your breathing muscles if you suffer from Parkinson's disease.