Physical Management for Neurological Conditions, 4th Edition


Review by Angela Ruddy

Occupational Therapist

17 June 2019

Physical Management for Neurological Conditions is the 4th edition of this popular textbook. The new edition has been updated and revised by internationally recognised clinicians and researchers, and continues to maintain its scientific and research base. Although there is a focus towards physiotherapy, the book would also benefit wider multi-disciplinary team members, especially occupational therapists. Using references, case studies and example programmes, this book provides a selection of evidence-based practice approaches to assess and treat neurological conditions.

The 4th edition uses international case studies and research from around the world to bring the publication up to date.

The chapters included in this text are:

  1. Guiding Principles in Neurological Rehabilitation

This chapter explains the conceptual framework, including the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF); the value of participation; team; person-centre care; prediction; neural plasticity; a systems model for motor control; functional movement re-education; skills acquisition; self-management; health promotion.

  1. Common Impairments and the Impact on Activity

This chapter features common impairments that can have an impact on the quality of life of people with a neurological condition with strategies around understanding and managing these.

  1. Observation and Analysis of Movement

Reviewing all voluntary movements: walking; sit-to-stand; reach and grasp; and rolling, along with the postural control required for these actions, this chapter highlights the complex connection of biomechanics, neural pathways and cognition. Illustrations are provided to demonstrate deviations which can be observed in different neurological conditions.

  1. Measurement Tools

This chapter focuses on different measurement tools which are the basis of evidence-based practice. It acknowledges that there are many (too many) measurement tools, and that research will continue to be updated.

  1. Goal Setting in Rehabilitation

Using a health coaching approach in formulation of client centred goals, this chapter provides examples of multi-disciplinary team rehabilitation goals, along with commonly used scales and key points.

  1. Respiratory Management

This chapter discusses the common problems in neurological conditions that affect respiration.  It reviews the central nervous system’s control of breathing, along with physiotherapy techniques and potential treatment effects.

  1. Stroke
  2. Traumatic Brain Injury
  3. Spinal Cord Injury
  4. Multiple Sclerosis
  5. Parkinson’s Disease
  1. Inherited Neurological Conditions

This chapter provides an overview of three inherited conditions:  Huntingdon’s disease (HD); hereditary ataxias (spinocerebellar ataxias, Friedreich’s ataxia); and hereditary spastic paraparesis.

  1. Motor Neurone Disease

This chapter reviews genetic and environmental factors, diagnosis, signs, symptoms and clinical presentation, disease specific measurements, and prognosis, along with treatment selection and secondary complications.

  1. Polyneuropathies 
  1. Muscle Disorders

This chapter focuses on a large number of rare and, usually, progressive conditions which lead to physical disability and reduced life expectancy. It uses Duchenne muscular dystrophy to show both how a muscle disease can affect a person, and the management of a muscle disorder.

  1. Functional Motor Disorders

This chapter is a new addition to the book which provides detailed background and specific treatment ideas for this common cause of disability. The chapter highlights the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach along with a biopsychosocial understanding.

  1. Self-Management 
  1. Virtual Rehabilitation

This is another new chapter highlighting recent research in the field of virtual reality and interactive gaming as new ways of providing an assessment, rehabilitation and training that could be used across different ages and abilities. It looks at the current technology available and its application in practice.

  1. Falls and Their Management
  2. Physical Activity and Exercises in Neurological Rehabilitation
  3. Vestibular Rehabilitation
  4. Pain Management
  5. Clinical Neuropsychology in Rehabilitation
  1. Complex Case Management

This chapter concentrates on three advanced topics and, like all other chapters, is pinned with a theoretical background section and case study presentation.

Overall, the book is engaging and a pleasure to read, although some readers may initially be put off by the lack of colour in the text. However, key points, case studies, photos, tables and diagrams break up the text, helping the reader engage with the publication. A summary is featured at the end of every chapter, and self-assessment questions feature throughout.

This book is an ideal addition for students, new practitioners, and experienced clinicians due to the level of current evidence-based practice from internationally recognised clinicians and researchers. Useful links to research, websites and resources feature throughout the text.

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