Conversion Disorder

Conversion disorder is also known as functional neurological symptom disorder and it occurs when a person experiences neurological symptoms not attributable to any medical condition. The symptoms are real and not imaginary, and they can affect motor functions and your senses.

 Researchers have not yet uncovered the cause of conversion disorder or functional neurological disorders. It is possible that the symptoms are triggered by physically or psychologically traumatic events or by stress, but not always. A person may be at high risk of developing the condition if they have a neurological disease, a movement disorder, or a mental health condition. They are also at increased risk if a family member has a functional neurologic disorder.

Functional neurologic disorders is a newer and broader term that includes what some people call conversion disorder however, the symptoms are real and cause significant distress or problems functioning.


Its signs and symptoms vary, depending on the type of functional neurologic disorder and might include specific patterns. Usually these disorders affect your movement or your senses, such as the ability to walk, swallow, see or hear. Symptoms can also vary in severity and may come and go or be persistent. However, one cannot intentionally produce or control your symptoms.

 Conversion disorder symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Body tremors
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Hearing difficulty
  • Vision problems or blindness
  • Loss of sensation
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Seizures or shaking episodes
  • Unresponsiveness

Symptoms of functional neurologic disorders may vary, depending on the type of functional neurologic disorder, and they’re significant enough to cause impairment and warrant medical evaluation. Symptoms can affect body movement and function and the senses.


The exact cause of functional neurologic disorders is still unknown. Theories regarding what happens in the brain to result in symptoms are complex and involve multiple mechanisms that may differ, depending on the type of functional neurologic disorder. Normally, parts of the brain that control the functioning of your muscles and senses might be involved, even though no disease or abnormality exists.

Physical therapy at SOS PHYSIO Rehab

Physical therapy at SOS PHYSIO Rehab can help prevent secondary complications from conversion disorder. Gradual increases in exercise may improve your ability to function.

There are many physical therapy treatments such as Manual therapy & Active Release Techniques (ART) are found to be very effective in treating this type of disorder.
For more information- Contact your local SOS PHYSIO clinic.

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