Motor Neurone Disease (MND)
Motor Neurone Disease affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that tell your muscles what to do. With MND, messages from these nerves gradually stop reaching the muscles, leading them to weaken, stiffen and waste therefore affecting speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing. Some people also go on to develop cognitive difficulties. It is still not possible to give a clear answer about the causes of MND, as different things may trigger the disease for each individual. There is no cure and the condition is progressive.
While physiotherapy cannot reverse damage to muscle groups weakened by MND, it can help to keep weakened muscles as strong as possible through exercise.
Physiotherapy can also:
Keep you mobile for as long as possible by preventing muscles from becoming stiff, including assisted or passive exercise where someone helps you
Help maintain maximum range of movement (ROM)
Help maintain comfort and reduce problems associated with muscle weakness
Strengthen muscle groups not yet affected by MND (which can help to compensate for those that have weakened or wasted)
Help maintain circulation through active muscle movement
Work on balance strategies helping to minimise the risk of falls
If you have more severe symptoms physiotherapy treatment may focus on your walking, transfers, functional tasks, 24-hour postural management, stiffness and balance to reduce the risk of falls helping you to remain as independent and sociable as possible. We find patients often benefit from treatment of pain symptoms that are not directly a result of MND but an avoidable secondary complication.
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