We are very lucky in this country to have the NHS.
When someone has a stroke, they are taken to hospital where they are managed by a medical team who hopefully manage and stabilise their condition. Then it is up to the Physiotherapy team to help get them up and back on their feet, hopefully with intensive daily therapy until they are at least up and walking with a stick and are able to be discharged home.
This, in my experience is when the real problems start, when the person who has had the stroke and their families have to deal with the massive change. The Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists may well come and give a few more visits, hopefully at home but then the progress can just stop.
The NHS doesn’t have the resources to continue treating people indefinitely even if continued therapy would be really useful and improve that person’s quality of life considerably.
This is where private Neuro Physio comes in and there is not much out there. If you were lucky enough to be insured then you will get extra sessions of physio usually at the local private hospital.
In my experience there is inevitably a shortfall of support, good advice, and ongoing strategies and programmes in place or on hand to help the individuals affected and their families, assimilate the changes in their lives and strive to reach their highest potential in terms of the fullest recovery.
In some cases I have referred clients on for counselling and even hypnotism to relieve their anxieties and trauma, in others I have found them appropriate ankle (knee/wrist/hand) braces to help with foot/drop (where the person due to weakness has trouble lifting up their toes during walking) and other aids or discussed other issues which may arise. The key thing is offering a holistic and experienced service to people who are trying to recover the best they can.
In the MS Centre where I am mainly based, I ran Positivity for Health groups for years as I feel that a positive mental attitude is crucial for us to achieve our goals. We discussed many modalites and techniques from meditation to nutrition and we all have gained a great deal of support from it.
OvercomingMultipleSclerosis.org is a great source of info for those with MS but also for anyone who wants to see some great research and advice on nutrition for optimal health.
I am particularly interested in Functional Medicine’s approach to assessing, informing and treating regarding our finding the road to our fullest health. The most recent book along these lines is ‘Beat Autoimmune’ by Palmer Kippola (I’ve linked the podcast from Dr Pompa above).
At the MS Centre Michael uses the following machines/devices;
Balance Master – This machine is one you stand on and has a circular platform that you can change the angle of tilt as it rotates one way and then the other to test your balance or rehab from an ankle injury
Vibrogym – I have been using this for 10 years at the centre as it is excellent to give improved circulation and change the feeling of pins and needles at, stiffness or heaviness that many of my clients with M.S. have at 50Hz. It also allows you to do intense exercise in short bursts to improve muscle 40Hz and there are proprioceptive benefits also at 30-35Hz. The machine allows you to do the equivalent of an hours work out at the gym in a little over 5 mins so is great for people with fatigue or reduced exercise capacity.
APS Therapy – There are a growing number of MS Centres across the country using this electrotherapy due to its ability to reduce fatigue, pain and abnormal neurogenic pain. Amanda does a great video here showing details about the therapy and some members say how it helped them. It uses 4 electrodes that stick onto head, neck, back, shoulders, legs etc as necessary but there is also a facility to put your feet or hands in a bowl of water and Epsom salts to receive the electrical impulses that way.
Recumbent Cross Trainer – My favourite machine at the moment is the Nustep Cross Trainer which allows people who can transfer (they do not need to be able to walk) to get a great cardiovascular work out ! This is really great for people who spend most of their time in a wheelchair or have difficulty walking fast enough to get out of breath. It is with us for a while as there is a trail running called CogEx which is designed to see if a couple of months using this machine can improve peoples clarity of thinking, which is good news for members with MS who have ‘brain-fog’.
We also have a range of Active/Passive exercise bikes on which you can use your arms or legs to cycle, and if you cant do it, the bikes can do it for you.
There is a treadmill, parallel bars, wall bars, pulleys, resistance bands for arms, some weights, standing frames (more advanced than the Oswestry frames) and a few other vibration plates.
If you live in Exeter, Newton Abbot, Paignton or Torquay I also do occasional home visits for those who need some help, advice, a routine to help themselves etc (depending on how much time if any, I have in the week). This is for those with Strokes, MS, Parkinson’s, or other Neurological condition or just general bad backs, necks, shoulders, hips, knees, migraines, respiratory problems, stress etc
Just call Michael on 07956 409300 to make an appointment.