ALS: How Physiotherapy Can Help?

ALS: How Physiotherapy Can Help?

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a motor neuron disorder that reprobates nerve cells that control voluntary muscles. As the disease is degenerative in nature, the symptoms become more serious with passing time. 

Getting diagnosed with ALS is nothing short of life altering. As there is no known cure for this disease, most of the treatments are centred on improving the patients’ quality of life. Physiotherapy has proven to be essential for ALS patients. It can help them in performing their day to day activities by improving their alignment and muscle strength and provide some measure of pain relief.

Here are a few reasons why physiotherapy for ALS patients is crucial:

Individual Treatment Plan
A Physical Therapist is a qualified professional that has a comprehends the disease and its symptoms. Your PT can help you create an individual plan that is ideally suited to this condition. A routine of light, low impact exercises are beneficial for patients suffering from ALS. These stretches help in improving their neuromuscular strength, prevent stiffness in their joints and delay muscle atrophy for as long as possible. 

Keep in mind, exercises for ALS patients must be performed with utmost care and always in the presence of a qualified PT. This routine must not burn out the patients and exhaust the energy that they need to perform necessary tasks

Mobile Physical Therapy
A qualified PT is a crucial part of the multidisciplinary team of every ALS patient. Your PT can accompany you to your health checkups and to ensure safe visitations. They can also refer to your physicians regarding any concerns that you have about your diet and movement habits. They can also instruct caregivers about future problems in motion that patients may experience as time passes.

As the condition worsens, the patients may also need round the clock services of a PT. With our mobile physical therapy service, you can avail the services of an experienced therapist, right from your home.

Pain Relief
Physiotherapy for ALS patients goes further than strength building. A PT uses various techniques such as acupuncture, massage therapy and electric stimulation to provide pain relief to patients. These methods if performed under the guidance of a PT ease the discomfort considerably.

Fall Prevention
This motor neuron disease affects a patient’s balance and orientation critically making them prone to accidents and falls. Physiotherapy can help in improving the patient’s alignment by using a set of easy exercises. It’s also advisable to make your home more patient friendly by installing lighting at strategic areas, adding extra rails to the staircases and buying rubber soled footwear for the patient.

As the disease progresses, the patient may feel the need of a few tools to move around and perform their daily activities. These gears can range from a simple walking cane to a mechanized wheelchair. A PT can recognize the needs of the patient at different stages and provide them with the tools that they need.

Although ALS is a terminal disease, with effective physiotherapy and injury specific rehabilitation, the patient’s quality of life can be improved and their everyday can be made less pain riddled.