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What Is Bobath Therapy For Stroke?

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   3 min     


Stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when the blood flow to a specific portion of the brain falls short, depriving the brain of vital oxygen and glucose key to its necessary functioning. Corresponding to the region of the stroke the result could be memory loss, lack of muscle coordination, loss of speech or anything about brain-controlled activities.

The causes of stroke can be tied to many factors. The most prominent factors among them include high blood pressure followed by obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, and smoking. Stroke is found to target people above the age of 65. Nonetheless, people who are 45 years of age and below also experience strokes. Owing to our current lifestyle and food habits sporadic cases of stroke attack are found in people in their mid-30s as well.

A stroke can occur at any moment without a warning. So it becomes important to know the symptoms beforehand to think prudently. The most common symptoms include drooping of the facial muscles, weakness in the arms and legs, blurry vision, dizziness, and speech difficulty.

The treatment encompasses a wide range and can be classified based on the type of stroke to be treated. When it comes to physical rehabilitation, it includes strengthening motor skills, mobility training, constraint-induced therapy, and range-of-motion therapy. 

One of the most prominent rehabilitation techniques is the Bobath concept, also known as the neurodevelopmental approach (NDT). Neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) is a hands-on treatment approach used by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists. Bobath therapy is an approach to neurological rehabilitation that is applied in patient assessment and treatment (such as with adults after stroke, or children with cerebral palsy). Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Signs and symptoms vary among people and over time. Often, symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. There may be problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing, and speaking. Bobath therapy for cerebral palsy is used extensively to treat this condition.

It has been used clinically for more than 50 years and has been proven effective. Developed in the 1950s, Bobath therapy addresses the problem developed in the central nervous system which affects sensory-motor nerve and cognitive perception skills. It is based on the principle of neuroplasticity, which refers to the lasting changes to the brain throughout the lifetime of an individual. Thanks to neuroplasticity, our brain can reorganize itself to compensate for injury and disease. It is the basis for much of our cognitive and physical rehabilitation process. 

The therapy involves postural control, where patients learn to control posture and movement and then progress to more difficult ones. It is performed to improve muscle weakness, optimal body alignment, movement initiation, coordination of movement sequences and postural control. Bobath therapy integrates three disciplines, making it an interdisciplinary therapy for stroke recovery. These three are occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and physiotherapy. Through the therapy, patients are initiated to complete a set of tasks designed in consultation with expert physiotherapists.

Bobath therapy has constantly evolved since its inception and has also adapted to fit the contemporary neurological and rehabilitative science. In recent times, the development focuses on spasticity as a component rather than the whole problem giving it a more mature and broader view in therapeutic physiotherapy.

In the Western world, the Bobath Concept or neurodevelopmental treatment is the most popular treatment approach used in stroke rehabilitation, yet the superiority of the Bobath Concept as the optimal type of treatment has not been established. This systematic review of randomized, controlled trials aimed to evaluate the available evidence for the effectiveness of the Bobath Concept in stroke rehabilitation. 

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Tags:  stroke, Heart diseases, hypertension, Physiotherapy,stroke, heart diseases, hypertension, physiotherapy

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