Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a varied and highly complex neurological condition which can present with disorders of body movement, sensation, speech, and function. Many people also experience intense fatigue, sometimes pain and challenges with thinking clearly or ‘brain fog’, as FND individuals often term it. Involuntary movements and dissociation are also common within FND which can be misinterpreted as seizure activity.
Whilst FND has been known about for hundreds of years it has been termed many different things in the past and the overall awareness within the medical field has previously poor. Thankfully this is now changing with increased awareness, research and services to treat and support those with FND.
In simple terms, with FND there is no structural damage of the brain, nervous system of muscles, however due to a complex combination of bio-psychosocial factors, some people will be more at risk of developing FND. With FND, the brain does not function smoothly and there is thought to be altered signal interpretation causing the signals sent from the brain to be affected resulting in abnormal movement etc. An overwhelming positive feature of FND is potential for recovery and regaining more normal movement and function again with appropriate intervention.
If you have been diagnosed with a functional movement disorder, you and your medical team may be at a loss with how to get help to function better and indeed how to find a health professional who understands the condition. We are one of the only sites in Australia to offer a dedicated multi-disciplinary approach to helping you with your condition.
Based on the latest literature and best practice internationally, an intensive block of therapy has been shown to influence the brain and muscle connections which are disrupted in this condition. Other presentations respond best to a slower stream approach. Following an initial assessment with our neurological physiotherapist with experience with this condition, an individualised treatment approach is discussed in line with your specific goals.
Working with a team who understand your condition is key. Part of your program will focus on education around strategies develop self – management tools outside of therapy sessions. This is to enhance your chances of successful outcome and to ensure that you know exactly what you need to be doing to continue on with this beneficial exercise approach. You will receive an workbook to bring to sessions which discusses aspects of the condition and how to best manage them.