Physical therapy is an important treatment for various acute and chronic diseases. Physical therapy is indispensable during the period of rehabilitation, recovery from various diseases, in the prevention of exacerbations of diseases, as well as as a way to strengthen the body, maintain tone, performance, and good mood. Modern trends in physical therapy practice are the further improvement of the rehabilitation direction, the widespread use of low-energy effects (laser, EHF, magnetotherapy), photochemotherapy. 

Today’s physical therapy has very extensive and varied physical properties, mechanism of action, and therapeutic use of natural and artificial physical factors of natural influence on the body of a healthy and sick person. It includes: scientific and technological progress in the field of electronics, the development of new technologies, creation of fundamentally new methods of using physical fields, pulsed magnetic therapy of the brain, selective phototherapy, bio-controlled aeroionotherapy, external shock wave therapy, ozone baths, cold plasma therapy and many many more.

The use of physical therapy for neurological diseases

Generally, when using neurological conditions, use both local and general exposure to physical factors. For example, local exposure (ultrasound, exercise therapy, massage, electrical stimulation, healing):

  • accelerates the regeneration of nerve fibers;
  • protects the nerve from ischemia;
  • reduces swelling;
  • improves the motor function of the limb.

With segmental exposure, with the exception of a direct effect on the lesion focus (trauma and diseases of the spinal cord, condition after removal of a benign tumor or cyst), compensatory capabilities develop: they contribute to the inclusion of preserved, but previously inactive nerve structures of the injured limbs – as a result, spinal blood circulation and activity are improved. With the help of baths, solar climatotherapy, the general effect of physical factors on the body is carried out. In this case, afferent signaling (stimuli), specific for a particular effect, comes in a continuous flow from the peripheral parts to the central nervous system. Complex treatment does not affect only the local focus, but also the cortical and subcortical-stem level, causing vasomotor-hormonal shifts.

Due to the extensive effects of physical therapy on various processes and functions of the body, physical methods of treatment are widely used in neurology for prophylactic, therapeutic, and rehabilitation purposes. For example, the use of physical therapy in the initial stages of insufficient blood supply to the brain or discirculatory encephalopathy prevents the development of more formidable manifestations of cerebrovascular insufficiency.

  • with neuroses with visceral manifestations;
  • with vibration disease;
  • initial manifestations of diseases of the peripheral and autonomic nervous system;
  • cerebral atherosclerosis;
  • arterial hypertension.

Medicinal electrophoresis is used by various methods (reflex-segmental, transcerebral, according to the method of general influence, on vegetative formations). Exposure to impulse current (by the method of electric sleep), UHF electric field, as well as sanatorium-resort treatment of neuroses is widespread. Mineral baths improve microcirculation, the function of endocrine glands, prevent dystrophic changes in nerve cells and walls of blood vessels, peripheral nerves, therefore, staying at climatic and balneological resorts is indicated, for example, after transient cerebral circulation disorders, in remission of chronic recurrent systemic diseases of the peripheral nervous system in connection with osteochondrosis of the spine. 

Treatment of diseases of the peripheral nervous system

Treatment of diseases of the peripheral nervous system

In the treatment of diseases of the peripheral nervous system (traumatic, infectious, allergic, toxic, heterogenic origin) to combat pain syndrome (headaches, phantom pains, causalgia, neuralgia), short-pulse, via dynamic currents, CMT, ultrasound, phonophoresis, laser irradiation, and others are used physical factors, as well as their combination. To improve cerebral circulation, metabolism in the brain, normalize the aggregation properties of blood, in the early recovery period after ischemic disorders of cerebral circulation (light and moderate strokes), electrophoresis of the so-called antiplatelet agents, amino acids, PMP, and UHF therapy, hydrogen sulfide, iodine-bromine, carbonic (including “dry”), nitrogen, nitrogen-radon, and other baths. Vascular disorders play an important role in spinal cord injury and disease. In such cases, these methods are supplemented by aminophylline electrophoresis, amplipulse therapy, HF therapy, mud therapy, which not only improves blood circulation in the spinal cord but also trains spinal mechanisms, promoting the involvement of inactivated motor neurons in the process, as in cases of activation of “silent” neurons in stroke.

In a long period of neurological diseases for the rehabilitation of patients, along with the use of psychological, social, labor factors, methods of physical therapy are also used. Physical factors of influence can be used even in the acute period of vascular and traumatic diseases of the brain or spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, in order to prevent contractures, bedsores, the appearance of synkinesis (exercise therapy, massage, electrical stimulation). In the early period of recovery, the range of physiotherapeutic methods expands: drug electrophoresis, amplipulse therapy, UHF, and microwave therapy are prescribed, and after 4-10 weeks – artificial mineral baths. n the late and residual period of the disease, a spa treatment is used: mineral baths, mud applications, climate therapy, health path, and other methods.

In addition, physical therapy is used for: 

  • parkinsonism (magnetotherapy, amplipulse therapy, microwave therapy, levodopa electrophoresis, hydrogen sulfide, radon baths);
  • progressive muscular dystrophies (DDT, amplipulse therapy, drug electrophoresis, exercise therapy, mud applications);
  • myasthenia gravis (exercise therapy, electrophoresis, UV irradiation, baths);
  • multiple sclerosis (phonophoresis with hydrocortisone, mineral baths, UHF therapy)
  • conditions after removal of benign spinal cord tumors (baths, exercise therapy, massage);
  • conditions after reconstructive operations on the vessels of the brain with injuries, vascular diseases (microwave therapy, amplipulse therapy, exercise therapy in the pool, oxygen, “dry” carbon dioxide baths);
  • conditions after removal of a herniated disc and reconstructive operations on nerves and plexuses (amplipulse therapy, mud therapy, exercise therapy, massage, electrical stimulation).

Contraindications

Contraindications to physical therapy for neurological diseases:

  • acute period of the disease;
  • progressive forms of infectious diseases of the central nervous system;
  • tumors of the brain and peripheral nerves;
  • epilepsy with frequent seizures;
  • drug addiction;
  • psychosis and psychopathy;
  • cachexia.