Motor neuron disease (MND) or Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Neuro Physiotherapy

There is hope after being diagnosed with Motor Neurons Disease (MND) as physiotherapy can benefit you. Neuro physio is specific to your individual needs as a patient and focuses on maintaining your level of independence.

Physiotherapy treatment is very important and forms a vital part of your management and should be started as soon as possible. Neuro physio treatment aims to improve mobility, posture, endurance and to prevent secondary complications such as potential chest infections, contractures and pressure sores.

Neurological physiotherapy will also promote your independence by maximising your potential and improving your quality of life.

MND affects everyone differently so your treatment plan will be specific to your needs. An initial assessment done by the physiotherapist will determine what your level of function is and how your treatment plan will be specific to you as an individual, it is after this that long and short term goals will be decided upon by you, your family and the physiotherapist.

Treatment sessions will be focused on:

  • Exercises to maintain muscle strength, balance and co-ordination.
  • Maintaining muscle length and joint range of movement through stretching.
  • Minimising abnormalities of muscle tone and normalising muscle tone as much as possible.
  • Advice and education on postural management to increase comfort and reduce pain
  • when sitting, standing or sleeping.
  • Facilitating the use of efficient functional movement patterns including gait patterns and quality of walking.
  • Balance re-education to help improve confidence and reduce the risk of falling.
  • Education and advice about MND and potential secondary complications.
  • Assist you with wheelchairs and assistive devices for your home to make your life and that of your carers easier.
  • Improving mobility and maximising your level of independence for as long as possible.
  • Teaching you and your carer exercises to continue at home.
  • Home visits if necessary.

At Rehabilita, Anne Knowles Physio in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, we have some specialised equipment that could benefit you and assist the physiotherapist to treat you:

  • Therapeutic electrical stimulation (reduce pain and build muscle strength)
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (help you walk if you have muscle weakness in the lower legs)
  • Active passive exercise bike (assist you to turn the pedals if you would otherwise not be able to cycle, you can either try and build up muscle strength or just let the bike do the work and get the benefits of your legs being moved and stretched). You can also use it for arm strengthening as it has upper limb attachments.
  • Tilt Table ( if you are wheelchair bound and would like to stand up, this piece of equipment will stand you up safely to get some weight through your legs with no effort required by the patient)
  • Parallel bars (practice walking and balancing in a safe environment)

Treatment sessions will be with a qualified physiotherapist who has a special interest in neurological rehabilitation. Your physiotherapist will guide you through an effective, structured and enjoyable programme aimed at improving your physical function and quality of life.

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