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Physiotherapy for Epilepsy

Therapist helps senior citizen with walker learning to walk in rehab clinic

Physiotherapy for Epilepsy

A disorder of brain function that takes the form of recurring seizures, is known as Epilepsy. Our feelings, thoughts and actions are controlled by brain cells that communicate with each other through regular electrical impulses. When sudden, uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity disrupt the regular functioning of the brain is when seizures occur. It can occur right across the brain or can be confined to just one part of the brain. Communication between cells becomes scrambled and our thoughts, feelings or movements become momentarily confused or uncontrolled.

Depending on where in the brain the seizure is occurring and what functions that part of the brain controls, different types of seizures affect people in varying ways. Seizures can disrupt any function the brain functions like – movement, sensations, thoughts, behavior, and the person’s level of consciousness.

People with Epilepsy should be extremely careful

People with uncontrolled seizures need to be especially careful when engaging in more risky activities and should seek advice from their doctors and physiotherapists before engaging in:

  • Ice activities such as skiing, skating and hockey
  • Solo watersports such as sailing or sailboarding
  • Motorsports
  • Solo aerial sports such as hang-gliding and skydiving
  • Contact sports, scuba diving, bungee-jumping and boxing
  • High altitude activities such as mountain-climbing
  • Horseback riding
  • Gymnastics

It is essential for someone to be present with the person who gets seizures that are difficult to control. That someone should know what should be done in case the epileptic person gets seizures. However, with adequate and planning and precautions, you can take part in a wide range of activities after discussing your sports aspirations with your doctor or therapist.

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

For the overall welfare of the physical body, physiotherapists are responsible. They help to improve the quality of movement and physical performance. They help improve sensory awareness, response, balance, and coordination along with improving strength, mobility, increase the range of motion and sphere of movement.

Physical therapy interventions differ from person to person based on their specific deficits and challenges. It is important to offer maximum comfort to the patient. It is typical that after a seizure the patient will be more lethargic and have decreased tolerance to physical therapy challenges. The goals of physiotherapy will be to:

  • develop strength enough to support his or her head upright
  • have balance and motor control to maintain their trunk at the midline
  • use many different muscle groups
  • have the necessary motion in their trunk and extremities

With the family’s input as to each of the goals, our professional physiotherapists write smaller (short-term) goals for each of the items on the problem list that need to be covered to help the patient achieve the long-term goals. We also make an effort to understand what the patient is good at and does well, and what is he or she capable of doing rather than on what they can’t do. If you know someone or if you wish to know more about epilepsy and how physiotherapy can be beneficial, get in touch with our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton, who are brimmed with extensive knowledge and are always ready to help.