What is Pusher Syndrome and How Can Physiotherapy Help?

What is Pusher Syndrome and How Can Physiotherapy Help?

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Pusher syndrome is a postural disorientation related disorder that is most commonly found in stroke patients. During this condition, the left or the right brain of the patient is damaged. This causes the patient to actively push away from the unaffected side, leading to a loss of postural balance. It most commonly occurs due to disruption in sensory channels.

When patients are affected by pusher syndrome, they often have the tendency of unconsciously pushing towards their affected side. Thus, rehabilitation is crucial to correct this disorder.

How physiotherapy can help pusher syndrome patients

The first goal of physiotherapy for patients suffering from pusher syndrome is to make them realize their misconception of vertical. The next important goal is to increase their base support so that their anxiety can be lowered and stability can be improved. Next, steps are taken to encourage weight bearing on the unaffected side and away from the weaker (affected) side. This is done to restore symmetry of the body.

Thus, the treatment procedure adopted by physiotherapy mainly aims at making the patients realize their altered perception of vertical, improve their stability, use visual aids for generating feedbacks on body orientation, learn new movements and alter existing postures in such a manner that the correct vertical position can be achieved.

How do physiotherapists do this? They make use of visual feedback. Through visual feedback, the ability of patients to align themselves is encouraged. Spatial awareness is also created in patients. Physiotherapists generally use mirror or doorframes or any such vertical frames for generating visual feedback.

Like every other disease, if neglected, pusher syndrome can be a serious problem. Patients would be so inclined towards pushing them to the affected area, that they may lose balance completely and fall.

Hence, treatment in the form of visual feedback, therapy and other training procedures will not only help in curing the patient from the ailment but will also help them lead an independent life. For more details on pusher syndrome, contact us at HCR.