Symptoms and conditions treated by our neurological physical therapist.
Balance problems make it hard for people to maintain stable posture and stay upright when standing, walking, and even sitting. Balance problems are more common in older adults and are the most common reason they seek help from a doctor. If balance problems go untreated, they can lead to falls. Physical therapists can help people of all ages improve their balance. They perform balance testing and develop treatment plans that include physical activity to help improve the strength, stability, and movement of people with balance problems.
Dizziness is a common problem, especially among older adults. In fact, for people over the age of 65, dizziness is one of the most common reasons for doctor visits and hospitalizations. Regardless of the cause of dizziness, the sooner you get help, the better. Physical therapists help people experiencing dizziness ease their symptoms, reduce their risk of falling, and get back to the activities they enjoy.
Pain of any type that occurs in any part of the head is called a headache. There are many different types of headaches, with just as many causes. The International Headache Society describes several different categories of headache:
Cervicogenic (also called muscle-spasm headaches).
Migraine and cluster.
Cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches.
Secondary headaches from an underlying condition, such as fever, infectious disease, sinus disorder, or in rare cases, a tumor or more serious illness.
Headaches are a common occurrence in individuals with known neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, or a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury.
Individuals who have a known neurological condition should notify their health care provider if headaches occur.
Most headaches are harmless and resolve on their own, although severe headaches that recur frequently can affect your ability to do your daily activities, and can reduce your quality of life.
Concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can cause lasting effects on brain tissue and change the chemical balance of the brain. Concussion may cause physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms and problems, both short-term and long-term. Every concussion is considered a serious injury by health care providers. If you have experienced a head injury, seek medical help immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. These numbers may be underestimated, as many cases are likely never reported. A physical therapist can assess symptoms to determine if a concussion is present, and treat your injury by guiding you through a safe and personalized recovery program. is a traumatic brain injury that can cause lasting effects on brain tissue and change the chemical balance of the brain. Concussion may cause physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms and problems, both short-term and long-term. Every concussion is considered a serious injury by health care providers. If you have experienced a head injury, seek medical help immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. These numbers may be underestimated, as many cases are likely never reported. A physical therapist can assess symptoms to determine if a concussion is present, and treat your injury by guiding you through a safe and personalized recovery program.
Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or ruptures and the blood flow in the brain stops. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It also is a leading cause of serious and long-term disability. A stroke can happen at any time to people of any race, gender, or even age. More women than men have a stroke each year. African Americans have almost twice the risk of a first-time stroke as Caucasians. About two-thirds of those who experience a stroke are over age 65. Nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year.
Physical therapists provide treatments for people who have had a stroke to restore movement and walking ability, decrease disability, and improve function.
Parkinson disease is the second most common degenerative brain disorder affecting adults. (Alzheimer's disease is the most common.) People of all ethnic groups can develop PD. However, it occurs less among African American and Asian American populations. People with PD are at risk of falling and injuries due to movement and balance challenges. Treatment involves a combination of medicines and physical therapy as part of a team approach to care that also includes other therapies and community-based exercise coaching. In some cases surgery may be needed. Physical therapists partner with people with PD and their families. They help them manage symptoms, maintain fitness levels, and stay as active as possible.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, usually progressive, disease that primarily affects young adults. Approximately 400,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS. Its effects vary widely. Although there is no known cure for the disease, it can be successfully controlled with medical management and rehabilitation. Physical therapists help people with MS regain and maintain strength, flexibility, and general fitness, and to live active, productive lives.
Temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction, or TMD, is a common condition that limits the natural functions of the jaw, such as opening the mouth and chewing. It currently affects more than 10 million people in the United States. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as simply “TMJ,” which represents the name of the joint itself. TMD affects more women than men and is most often diagnosed in individuals aged 20 to 40 years. Its causes a range of problems from poor posture, chronic jaw clenching, and poor teeth alignment, to fracture or conditions such as lockjaw, where the muscles around the jaw spasm and reduce the ability of the mouth to open. Physical therapists help people with TMD ease pain, regain normal jaw movement, and lessen daily stress on the jaw.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement.