We treat a range of neurological conditions, including some which are less common but still life-changing if you are living with them.
These conditions include Ataxia and Transverse Myelitis.
Ataxia is a symptom of poor coordination resulting from neurological damage. It is commonly associated with damage to the ‘cerebellum’, which is the part of the brain that controls the coordination of muscle activity.
There are many different types and causes of Ataxia but the three main categories are:
- Acquired ataxia – caused by damage to the nervous system from injury or illness such as brain injury, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, brain tumour, poisoning or intoxication
- Hereditary ataxia – caused by a defect in an inherited gene
- Idiopathic cerebellar ataxia – where the cerebellum deteriorates over time but no clear cause is identified
What are the symptoms of Ataxia?
Ataxia can cause a range of symptoms including:
- reduced balance
- uncontrolled gait
- reduced coordination with limb movements
- slurred speech
This lack of control can cause great difficulty in performing day-to-day tasks and significantly interfere with an individual’s independence.
Transverse Myelitis is a neurological condition where inflammation occurs at a segment of the spinal cord. The fatty coating surrounding the nerves (called myelin) is attacked and removed. Scar tissue forms and electrical nerve messages can no longer travel effectively through the spine.
Transverse Myelitis can occur after a viral infection. It can also be related to a tear or malformation in the circulation supplying the spinal cord.
What are the symptoms of Transverse Myelitis?
Transverse Myelitis may develop very rapidly, over a few hours, or it can progress more slowly, over a few weeks. Some people may recover fully, while unfortunately others may be left with permanent disabilities.
Transverse Myelitis can also be an early symptom of Multiple Sclerosis.
The level of the spinal cord where the damage occurs determines which parts of the body are affected. Damage at one segment will affect function at that segment, as well as all the segments below it.
Symptoms vary but may include:
- Weakness or paralysis of the legs and arms
- Reduced coordination
- Pain – which may be sharp or shooting
- Changes in sensation, such as pins and needles or burning
- Bowel and bladder problems
How can neurological physiotherapy help?
Neurological physiotherapists are specialists and trained to understand the effects and interactions of a wide range of neurological conditions. If you are living with Ataxia or Transverse Myelitis, the physiotherapist can identify where to focus your rehabilitation, and work on areas and problems that specifically affect you, using targeted physiotherapy.