Neurological Rehabilitation

What is neurological rehabilitation?

Neurological rehabilitation (rehab) helps people with diseases, injury, or disorders of the nervous system. It can often increase function, ease symptoms, and improve a person's well-being.

What conditions can benefit from neurological rehab?

Many health problems can impair the nervous system. Some of the conditions that neurological rehab may help with include:

  • Vascular disorders, such as a stroke, bleeding in the brain, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)

  • Infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis, polio, and brain abscesses

  • Trauma, such as brain and spinal cord injury

  • Structural or neuromuscular disorders, such as Bell's palsy, cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, brain or spinal cord tumors, peripheral neuropathy (such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and nerve pain), muscular dystrophy, and myasthenia gravis, among others

  • Episodic disorders, such as headaches, seizures, and dizziness

  • Degenerative disorders, such as Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer disease, and Huntington chorea

The neurological rehab team

Neurological rehab programs can be done in a hospital or on an outpatient basis. The neurological rehab team may include:

  • Neurologist/neurosurgeon

  • Orthopedist/orthopedic surgeon

  • Physiatrist

  • Internist

  • Other specialty healthcare providers

  • Rehab specialists

  • Registered nurse

  • Registered dietitian

  • Physical therapist

  • Respiratory therapist

  • Occupational therapist

  • Speech/language therapist

  • Social worker

  • Psychologist/Neuropsychologist/psychiatrist

  • Recreational therapist

  • Case manager

  • Audiologist

  • Chaplain

  • Vocational counselor

The neurological rehab program

A neurological rehab program is designed to meet your individual needs, depending on your specific problem or disease. Active involvement of you and your family is vital to the success of the program.

The goal of neurological rehab is to help you return to the highest level of function and independence possible. At the same time, it looks to improve your overall quality of life—physically, emotionally, and socially.

To help reach these goals, the program may include:

  • Help with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing, using the bathroom, handwriting, cooking, and basic housekeeping

  • Speech therapy to help with speaking, reading, writing, or swallowing

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression management

  • Bladder and bowel retraining

  • Activities to improve movement, muscle control, walking, and balance

  • Exercise programs to improve movement, prevent or decrease weakness caused by lack of use, manage muscle spasms and pain, and maintain range of motion

  • Social and behavioral skills retraining

  • Nutritional counseling

  • Involvement in community support groups

  • Activities to improve problems with concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgment

  • Help with obtaining and using assistive devices that promote independence

  • Education and counseling

  • Safety and independence measures and home care needs

  • Pain management

  • Vocational counseling

Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Campellone MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2023
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