Functional Neurological Disorder

Functional Neurological Disorder

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) has historically been classified as a psychological disorder, however the current consensus is to classify it as a neurological disorder as well. FND can present similar to different neurological or vestibular issues (e.g. stroke, dystonia, dizziness or movement disorder) however, the symptoms can fluctuate and demonstrate particular features that characterise this disorder.

Sometimes people with FND can feel quite hopeless about potential to improve, especially if the condition is poorly understood by others around you. Improvement can be achieved through the right therapy, support and education.

Common challenges:

  • Paralysis

  • Stiffness

  • Loss of sensation

  • Hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli

  • Change in walking pattern (or loss of ability to sit/ stand/ walk)

  • Dystonia and tremors

  • Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

  • Pain

  • Sleep problems

  • Fluctuating symptoms

The role of the neurological physiotherapist in FND:

Neurological physiotherapists are physiotherapists with additional training and expertise in treating problems related to the brain, spine and nerves, as well as an understanding of how the body can respond physically to psychological stimuli (as seen in FND).

Evidence suggests that neurological physiotherapy should be included in the multi-disciplinary approach to treating FND. A tailored neurological rehabilitation program designed by neurological physiotherapists can assist you in retraining normal movement and increasing your ability to perform tasks independently again. We can provide strategies and therapies to help you achieve your goals.

What our skilled therapists can offer:

  • Give you an opportunity for you to describe your symptoms fully

  • Provide a clear explanation on what may be happening to your body

  • Assess and work out strategies to minimise your symptoms

  • Provide cues, methods and ideas on how to control your symptoms

  • Prescribe and grade an appropriate home exercise program

  • Measure progress and assist in community reintegration

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