Sensation, or the sense of touch, is a complex and important part of the body’s system. It consists of a chain of nerve endings and receptors that connect our skin to our brain, and helps us feel sharp, blunt, hot, cold and vibration.
The sensory system is a constantly adapting one, and one that can respond positively with the right therapy, intensity and practice. Evidence suggests that some causes of sensory loss can improve with specific training that drives neuroplasticity, the process by which the nervous system changes when it is encouraged to adapt.
Retraining sensation can also have a profound impact on your chronic and neuropathic pain levels, which may be due to brain-related factors that are also influencing your pain output.
Sensation and proprioception loss can be assessed systematically by a neurological physiotherapist, who is a physiotherapist with additional training and expertise in treating problems related to the brain, spinal cord, inner ear and nerves.
We can help you explore the elements of your sensory profile that are working and not working, to tailor a program of sensory and awareness tasks to enable you to feel objects and sensations again. We can walk you through a step-by-step approach as you improve your abilities and practise out of the therapy sessions.
These principles will also apply to people who have difficulty controlling and managing their chronic pain, in conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome and other forms of pain that may come after a stroke.