Rehabilitation for Neurological Disorders
If you have a brain or nervous system disorder, you might need treatment to help you recover. This is called neurological rehabilitation.
What conditions may benefit from neurological rehabilitation?
Neurological (brain and nervous system) disorders that may be helped with rehabilitation include:
- Brain disorders such as stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA or "mini-stroke"), subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage and hematoma and extradural hemorrhage (brain bleeding and swelling)
- Infections such as meningitis, encephalitis, polio and epidural abscess
- Structural, trauma, or neuromuscular disorders such as brain, head or spinal cord injury, Bell's palsy, cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, brain or spinal cord tumors, peripheral neuropathy, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Functional disorders such as headache, seizure disorder, dizziness and neuralgia
- Degenerative disorders (disorders that get worse over time) such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's chorea and Alzheimer's disease
Your neurological rehabilitation team
At the OHSU Brain Institute, you can have neurological rehabilitation in the hospital, at a rehabilitation or physical therapy clinic or at home. Your team helps you and your family set short-term and long-term goals for recovery. People on your rehabilitation team may include:
- Neurologist or neurosurgeon (doctor specializing in brain and nervous system surgery)
- Physiatrist (doctor specializing in soft tissue injury and rehabilitation)
- Internist (doctor specializing in treating adults)
- Rehabilitation nurse
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Speech and language therapist
- Psychologist or psychiatrist
- Recreational therapist
- Vocational therapist
Your neurological rehabilitation program
The goals of a neurological rehabilitation program include helping you or your family member function as well as possible and be as independent as possible. At the OHSU Brain Institute, we want to help improve your quality of life physically, emotionally and socially.
Your neurological rehabilitation program might include:
- Help learning to do the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, dressing, bathing, using the toilet, writing, cooking and basic housekeeping.
- Speech therapy (to help patients who are having trouble speaking, expressing their thoughts, or swallowing; to improve speech patterns, enunciation, and oral communication, in general)
- Counseling to deal with anxiety and depression
- Training to control your bladder and bowel function
- Physical activities to improve muscle control and balance in the trunk, pelvis, and shoulder girdle.
- Exercise to help you move more safely, and effectively, prevent or postpone weakness caused by your condition or treatment, manage muscle problems and pain and stay flexible
- Help learning social skills again after injury, illness or treatment
- Help with walking and balance
- Nutrition counseling
- Community support groups
- Activities to improve cognitive (thinking) problems, such as difficulty with concentration, attention, memory or judgment
- Education about your disease or condition
- Setting short-term and long-term goals for yourself and your family