Lucinda’s story

Meet Lucinda, a NDIS participant and resilient individual who, after being diagnosed with Cerebellar Ataxia, a neurodegenerative disorder impacting balance and walking, bravely embarked on a journey to enhance her well-being. Read about Lucinda’s journey and discover how our NDIS physiotherapy could alleviate her symptoms.

 

What is Cerebellar Ataxia?

Cerebellar Ataxia is a neurological disorder. The onset of Ataxia symptoms can occur gradually or emerge suddenly, often manifesting as a symptom of various nervous system conditions. These symptoms may include:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Unsteady walking or a gait with wide-set feet
  • Reduced balance
  • Difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as eating, writing, or buttoning a shirt
  • Alterations in speech
  • Involuntary back-and-forth eye movements
  • Challenges in swallowing

These indicators highlight the diverse ways in which Ataxia can affect individuals, underscoring the importance of recognising and addressing these symptoms as soon as possible.

 

Are people with cerebellar ataxia eligible for NDIS physiotherapy funding?

 

An individual can meet the NDIS access criteria regardless of whether their impairment originated from birth, illness, injury, or accident. To qualify for NDIS funding, the medical condition or disease must induce a permanent impairment (whether physical, intellectual, cognitive, neurological, visual, hearing, or psychosocial), leading to substantial disability.

To read more about eligibility, click here.

 

Can NDIS physiotherapy improve Cerebellar Ataxia?

Yes, NDIS physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing and improving the symptoms of Cerebellar Ataxia. While there is no cure for this neurodegenerative disorder, NDIS physiotherapy can help enhance functional abilities, mitigate the impact of symptoms, and improve overall quality of life. Here are some common physiotherapy interventions for individuals with Cerebellar Ataxia:

 

Balance and Coordination Exercises

Specific exercises targeting balance and coordination are designed to improve stability and reduce the risk of falls. These may include activities that challenge the individual’s proprioception and spatial awareness.

Gait Training

Gait training focuses on improving walking patterns. Physiotherapists may work on stride length, step symmetry, and other aspects of gait to promote a more stable and coordinated walking pattern.

Strength Training

Strengthening exercises aim to improve muscle strength, particularly in the lower limbs. This can contribute to better stability and support during movement.

Range of Motion Exercises

Exercises to maintain or improve joint flexibility and range of motion are important to prevent stiffness and enhance overall mobility.

Adaptive Techniques

Physiotherapists may teach adaptive techniques and strategies to help individuals compensate for challenges related to coordination and balance in daily activities.

Functional Activities

Incorporating functional activities into NDIS physiotherapy sessions helps individuals practice and improve skills relevant to their daily lives, such as dressing, cooking, and other activities of daily living.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

For individuals with issues related to inner ear function, vestibular rehabilitation exercises may be included to address problems with dizziness or imbalance.

Assistive Devices

NDIS Physiotherapists may recommend and provide training on the use of assistive devices such as canes, walkers, or braces to enhance mobility and safety.

Speech and Swallowing Exercises

In cases where Cerebellar Ataxia affects speech and swallowing, physiotherapists may collaborate with speech therapists to incorporate exercises targeting these specific challenges.

 

It’s important to note that in our experience the highly individualised NDIS physiotherapy approach works best, taking into consideration the specific needs, symptoms, and functional limitations of each person with Cerebellar Ataxia. Regular and ongoing sessions, combined with at-home exercises, can contribute to improved motor function and a better quality of life for individuals managing this condition.

 

NDIS physiotherapy case study: Lucinda’s story

Read our participant, Lucinda’s story below and see how we were able to improve her symptoms with physiotherapy treatment.

Lucinda was diagnosed with Cerebellar Ataxia at an early age, the same condition her mother had. Determined not to follow in her mother’s footsteps at such an early age, Lucinda took proactive steps towards a positive change in her life, she asked Steven to come up with a physiotherapy treatment plan for her.

Steven has years of experience treating people with neurological conditions. He crafted a tailored exercise program that seamlessly integrated into Lucinda’s daily life, ensuring she could engage in the exercises both at home and with the support of her caregivers. This personalised approach not only addressed the physical aspects of her condition but also considered the emotional and social dimensions of her well-being.

Over the course of the past three months, Steven has witnessed a remarkable transformation in Lucinda’s balance and overall outlook on life. Through consistent dedication to the prescribed exercises, she not only improved her physical condition but also discovered a newfound sense of empowerment and vitality.

 

Steven’s compassionate and positive approach to physiotherapy has tremendously enhanced Lucinda’s physical well-being as well as her emotional resilience and mental strength. Today, Lucinda stands as an inspiring example of how proactive intervention, coupled with personalised care, can lead to a renewed zest for life despite the challenges posed by neurodegenerative disorders.

Lucinda has begun to do meaningful things in her life such as taking longer outdoor hikes with her husband and friends with less worry of falling and fatigue.

 

If you or someone you know have a neurological condition, give us a call, Steven, our experienced physiotherapist can come to your home.

Providing high quality care and physiotherapy treatment for patients that require therapy in the comfort of their own homes.
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