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Neurological Physiotherapy

Individuals who suffer from a neurological condition, such as Stroke or Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and other neuromuscular conditions, may be assessed and treated by Physiotherapists with specialized post graduate education to assist this unique patient population.

Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach (NDT) is a commonly used model for assessing and treating individuals who suffer from stroke or brain injury. 


The basic assumption of this approach is that individuals who have damage in the central nervous system – that is, brain and/or spinal cord - have problems in the activation and coordination of certain muscles in the trunk, arm and/or leg.  These problems directly impact an individuals' ability to carry out functional activities – like walking, squatting, moving in bed, carrying, dressing, reaching, stairs, etc. – the way they did prior to their injury. 


Therapists who use NDT are taught to analyze movement, and determine where their individual patient’s movement differs from pre-injury.  The therapist needs to identify what are the most significant movement or sensory problems that interfere with the patient’s ability to carry out these functional activities.  Therapists often use hands on contact with the patient to assist with activating certain muscles in the more involved trunk, arm and/or leg.

Although the premise of NDT was developed for the individual who suffers from a CVA or ABI, the approach is often used to treat other neurological diagnoses like SCI, MS, PD, GBS etc.  The approach is based on determining how an individual’s movement post-injury differs from pre-injury so many of the principles of NDT are useful.  The therapist then teaches the patient certain strengthening, stretching and movement strategies to help them re-acquire these movements with the goal that they may return to some of their previous activities.

​Karen Guha and Derek Brown have post graduate training in this area of physiotherapy.  For more information on Karen or Derek, click here.

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