Smooth coordination is a feature of normal human movement, and can be improved in many neurological conditions. The difference between reduced coordination (ataxia) and normal coordination can be reliance on other people to perform daily activities such as walking and transferring, and increased energy use. This often makes coordination seem worse at the body struggles to make corrections.
Coordination can be improved with the right therapy, intensity and practice. However, repetition alone is usually not enough as the brain needs the right sensory input to create a better movement pattern.
Neurological physiotherapists are physiotherapists with additional training and expertise in treating problems related to the brain, spinal cord, inner ear and nerves. With our deep understanding of neuroscience and motor control, we can assess the degree of your coordination problem and if there are other factors contributing to it.
We understand that coordination is partly controlled by the cerebellum, which is located near the brainstem at the base of the brain. This area is highly dense with neurons and helps connect our senses automatically and subconsciously so our bodies can adjust to changes almost at an instant. When this part of the brain is injured, we can still adjust to those changes but it is a lot slower and less accurate than normal. This can happen in many groups of muscles in the body, including those in your upper airways which can result in difficulty with speech and swallowing.
With knowledge, we apply our clinical reasoning framework to determine a suitable treatment plan, which often involves a range of therapies to help you relearn normal movement and reduce the energy cost.