The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (UK) chief executive Karen Middleton delivered a strong message during the recent inaugural international neuro physiotherapy conference, held in London from 17-18 March.
She advocated how neurological physiotherapists have a leading role in prevention, self management and self referral of the aging population as well as those with a diagnosed neurological condition.
There is increasing numbers of neurological conditions throughout the world including Dementia, Parkinsons Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Strokes for example, all of which can be influenced by neuroprotetive advice.
Some of the difficulties faced by the profession is that much of the public have never herd of a neurological physiotherapist let alone really know the full extent of their skills. The referral rate of newly diagnosed PD or MS to neurological physiotherapists is still extremely low throughout the world. There is a number of reasons for this still, as mentioned the awareness of the public is low and neurological physiotherapists need to be doing more to raise awareness and promote their skills, as well as GP’s and Neurologists proactively referring anyone on who is at risk of a neurological condition or has been recently diagnosed.
Neuroprotection and prevention is a relatively new approach in the neurological rehabilitation world in regards that research evidence has only been translating into practice over the last 5-6 years and there is a lot of therapists out there who do not have the latest education or training on how to provide this life changing approach. This is also an area that many Universities are only just starting to teach in physiotherapy courses and some courses still hardly cover it.
Two key elements of neurological prevention and protection that everyone needs to understand are;
- You need to exercise hard enough to actually get out of breath 3 – 4 times a week (this only needs to be for a minute at the least). As when you work hard enough to get out of breath you increase the activity in the brain which aids in maintaining and building neurons.
- You need to constantly be learning new motor skills throughout your life span – learn to dance, bowls, thai chi, play golf etc. It is when you learn and new movement task that again you increase the activity throughout the brain and strengthen and build new pathways.
To find out more on neurological protection for your condition or as a preventative as you age, or even how as a neurological physiotherapists you may deliver this – Contact Us
For more information on Karen Middleton’s talk click on the link below;