Stroke is a term used when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked (65% of all strokes) or ruptures. It is also called a cerebral vascular accident (CVA). If the blood flow is stopped or altered, a part of the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Millions of brain cells die every minute during a stroke, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability, or death. Strokes can cause a range of long-term problems, such as: hemiparesis, spasticity, Balance problems, Weakness on one side of the body, lack of sensation & Sensitivity to temperatures, Memory loss, and slurred speech
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that causes demyelination (disruption of the myelin that insulates and protects nerve cells) of spinal nerve and brain cells. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms. People with MS often say they feel a “pins and needles” sensation. They may also have numbness, itching, burning, stabbing, or tearing pains. About 8 in 10 people have bladder problems, which can be treated. MS can cause muscle weakness, spasms, balance problems, and fatigue. These limitations make it more difficult to do daily tasks and your activities of daily living.
How can the physical therapist help?
Your physical therapist will develop an individualized plan to help you achieve the best possible quality of life. The plan will focus on your ability to move, any pain you might have, and ways to prevent problems that may occur due to your neurological disorder. One of the first things your physical therapist will teach you is how to move safely from your bed to a chair, and to perform exercises in bed. As you become more mobile, your physical therapist will teach you strengthening exercises and functional activities. They will help you improve your balance and walking, fit you with a wheelchair or walker, provide training to your family and caregivers. They will also train you on how to use devices ( canes, walkers) that can help you keep mobile when a neurological disorder has affected your ability to move, walk, or keep your balance.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. This chemical sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression, or your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.