Chances are you have been personally affected, or know someone who has had a stroke, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, or is struggling with the ups and downs of multiple sclerosis. You spend time in the medical system, see the specialists, take the medications you’ve been prescribed, and, at times, spend time in rehabilitation in order to get discharged from the hospital. With each diagnosis that has long term effects, you’re told to keep moving, stay active, and not fall. How to do all that after all the services of our medical system have been exhausted is the big question. This article aims to highlight a physiotherapy philosophy that treats the whole person and provides a different perspective on how we achieve our goals of staying active, to not fall, and, ultimately, find a new way to move.
What is the Bobath Concept approach to physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists who practice the Bobath Concept treat each client by looking at the impact of the neurological condition on the person as a whole. The Bobath Concept was founded by Berta Bobath, a physiotherapist and gymnastics instructor, and her husband Karel, a physician. Through observation of individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries, Berta and Karel developed the most widely used neuro-rehabilitation approach worldwide, which enables Bobath-trained Physiotherapists to help clients return to a functional level of movement.
Why would you want to make an appointment with a Bobath-trained Physiotherapist?
A Bobath-trained Physiotherapist will work with you to determine the root cause of your pain symptoms or movement dysfunction, and develop a realistic treatment plan. The treatment focus is aimed to both treat your current symptoms and help to prevent them from occurring again.
During treatment sessions with a Bobath-trained Physiotherapist, they will:
- Assess the way you move. How do you walk? How do you stand? What is your posture when you sit, or when you move throughout your day-to-day activities?
- Consider your whole body. What is your health history, including neurological conditions and any old or new orthopedic injuries? What is the current status of your health? What is your daily routine?
- Provide you with, and educate you about, your clinical movement diagnosis. Everything in your body is connected, so how does the way you move influence your symptoms? What are the potential causes of your pain and dysfunction? What is the relationship between your symptoms and your posture, strength, sensation, and range of motion?
- Help you to set realistic goals. How do you want to move? What symptom of pain or dysfunction do you want to resolve? What movement or activity would you like to regain?
- Develop an individualized treatment plan. What movement exercises should you be doing? How can you make small changes in your day-to-day life that will help? How can they safely challenge you to attain stability and mobility, and regain independent and symptom-free movement?
The diagram displays the steps involved in a clinical session with a Bobath-trained Physiotherapist. These steps include the continuous cycle of assessment, a person’s response to treatment, and the relationship of the many contributing factors that determine a person’s ability to benefit from their treatment session.
What conditions can be treated with the Bobath Concept?
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Acquired and traumatic brain injuries
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sensory impairments (e.g. sciatica, peripheral neuropathies)
- Balance disorders (e.g. ataxia)
- Orthopedic injuries (e.g. tendinitis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis)
- Bobath’s philosophy of assessing movement patterns to achieve improved function makes it an effective approach for the treatment of both acute and chronic joint and muscle injuries.
Your stroke, injury, or loss of function happened years ago – can you still benefit from a visit to a Bobath-trained Physiotherapist?
ABSOLUTELY! A person’s ability to keep improving, regardless of age, is based on several factors that you can work with a Bobath-trained Physiotherapist to accomplish. These include:
Teaching. Learn how to help your body move in a more efficient way.
Repetition. Reinforce the specific movement pattern through practice.
Intensity. Incorporate your new efficient movements in your day-to-day activities.
Attitude. Have the motivation and belief in yourself that you can achieve change.
For more information about the Bobath Concept, please visit www.ibita.org
How can I book an appointment with a Bobath-trained Physiotherapist?
You can book an appointment with Lindsay at Willow Health Centre for a one-on-one assessment using the Bobath Concept. To book an appointment, call or go online today:
423 Richmond Street, Chatham