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Welcome to Atlas Physio  Neuro Centre



Physiotherapy is considered one of the most important aspects of treating adults and children with neurological conditions. Patients experience mobility, function, posture and balance challenges of varying degrees, and physical therapy – which focuses on basic mobility such as standing, walking, using stairs, reaching or operating a wheelchair - is a key element in the team approach to increasing a patient’s mobility.
 
Our goal is to target activity limitations, participation restrictions, and environmental barriers experienced by individuals with motor impairment.
 
Kinesitherapy uses functional training, manual therapy, suspension therapy (Sunshine), suit therapy, assistive technologies, and electrotherapeutic modalities.
 
Assessment

At the start of physical therapy each individual undergoes a thorough assessment to ascertain the correct and appropriate treatment. Atlas Physio therefore offers a free assessment to everyone. During the assessment a comprehensive medical history for the patient will be obtained. A physiotherapist will conduct a series of tests, observations and measurements to assess individual’s body mechanics and function.
 
Types of assessments:

  • Gait
  • Range of joint movement
  • Muscle strength
  • Posture
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Joint integrity
  • Sensory integration
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Reflexes
  • Breathing, respiration
 
 
Physiotherapy is hands-on, a therapist, or an assistant, will guide the patient through exercises. Exercises often include the use of equipment, such as:

  • Suspension therapy
  • Suit therapy
  • Weights
  • Bands
  • Rollers
  • Balance balls and boards
  • Heat gels
  • Ultrasound technology
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
 
Our skilled therapists have access to a fully- equipped gym and various types of gym balls, mats, crutches, walkers, wall bars and massage tables.
Gym sessions are designed around the individual needs of each patient and may be designed to fulfil a number of objectives including:

  • Maintaining flexibility
  • Improving or develop coordination
  • Building strength
  • Improving balance
  • Maximizing independence 

It is very important for us to target positive reinforcement in an individual by focusing on his or her capabilities, not limitations. Our therapists set the patients goals, and work with them to meet predetermined objectives with confidence in a safe and supportive environment.
 
Therapy aids overall treatment goals such as:

  • Expanding range of joint movement
  • Building and maintaining muscle tone
  • Improving posture
  • Improving gait
  • Overcoming physical limitations
  • Identifying alternative ways to perform everyday tasks
  • Fostering independence
  • Increasing flexibility
  • Minimizing pain and discomfort
  • Educating patients and carers about adaptive equipment
  • Decreasing the likelihood of contractures, bone deformity
  • Providing sensory stimulation
 
Family support 

Atlas Physio Centre also offers support, training and guidance to patient’s families and carers who are often overwhelmed and under extreme stress. They have several responsibilities, including assisting the individual with many physical tasks, providing day-to-day care, love, and emotional support.  
In our centre we provide a high standard of therapy as we believe that the more physical challenges an individual can overcome or adapt to, the less hands-on assistance is required of the carers.


 Suspension therapy

In suspension therapy patient is suspended in a harness, attached with elastic bungees to a large metal frame (UGUL). The frame is designed so that it enables the bungees to be positioned, lengthened or shortened, according to the height and weight of the patient and the exercise being performed

Suspension therapy has many benefits in the rehabilitation process:
                                                                                 
  • When expertly assessed and applied by a therapist, many patients can stand without additional support.  In many cases patients, especially children experience for the first time being upright and standing unsupported by parents or carers
  • Through careful adjustment of the bungees, some or most of the patient’s weight can be taken by their legs while maintaining an upright body posture. This strengthens the legs and helps to lengthen the hamstrings.
  • Tight hamstrings are a problem experienced by many individuals with neurological conditions. Balance and weight- shift skills are also improved.
  • Suspension therapy can also be of neurological benefit as the brain receives new signals and experiences from being in an upright position.

  

Suit Therapy (TheraSuit) for children with cerebral palsy 
 
The Thera Suit arrived in Europe in the 1970's as a modified version of the Russian Cosmonaut's spacesuit. It was developed by the Russian space programme to prevent the detrimental effects of hypokenesis caused by the weightlessness conditions of space. Further research and development was conducted by the physiotherapist parents of a child with cerebral palsy who created and patented the TheraSuit in 2001.
 
The suit forms an exoskeleton around the child and incorporates a number of elastic straps that place a vertical load or resistance on the wearer. The suit provides a vertical load of 30 to 80 pounds of pressure-based proprioceptive input. The suit is worn while performing other therapies and through repetitive exercise, focuses on improving motor development, balance, strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination.
 
Fitting the suit to the child is a complex and highly skilled task and  during therapy, both the suit and the child are constantly monitored and adjusted to maximise benefits. The rings and cords can be adjusted to correct a child’s specific physical issues.
Strategically-placed bungee cords can be adjusted to typical flexor and extensor muscle groups; the entire suit acts as a soft exoskeleton that brings a child’s body into proper alignment by adjusting limbs to correct abnormal muscle tone and re-train a child’s brain to recognize correct muscle movements.
 
According to research conducted by manufacturers of therapeutic suits, performing the exercises as directed while wearing the suit can reduce the effects of hypertonia, hypotonia, spasticity, athetosis, and ataxia
 

  
Heat therapy - gels
 
 Warming up before undertaking any type of exercise is very important to prevent muscle injuries like strains and tears. This is even more so important in patients with neurological conditions and children with cerebral palsy or brain injury problems where the muscles may be already strained or tense.
Before the session, the gel pack is warmed and applied to specific muscles that are particularly tense or not relaxed. The use of gentle heat to help relax the muscles, decreases muscle spasm, relieves pain, and can increase range of movement.