So how do we determine whether this neurological approach is the right one for treating a particular neurological condition with the NeuFit® Method? The simplest way is to observe how patients respond. Most patients fall into one of three categories: fast responders, slow responders, and non-responders.
Let’s look at each category:
- Fast responders achieve tangible results within the first five sessions. These results can show up in the form of increased range of motion, higher levels of muscular control, and/or enhanced ability to perform new tasks. Meaningful increases in sensation are another sign that someone is a fast responder. Changes in the autonomic nervous system, which are observable in things like sweating in paralyzed areas of the body and blood pressure fluctuations, also indicate a fast response to neurologically focused treatment.1
- Slow responders have the same types of responses to treatment as fast responders, but it takes longer for them to reach these outcomes. In general, slow responders demonstrate at least one sign of meaningful progress between five and twenty treatments. That progress is typically enough to inspire a patient to continue treatment, especially if it’s more than they’ve made with other therapies.
- Non-responders are people for whom treatment produces no reaction or improvement. If we do a body scan with the Neubie® neuro-electrical device at full power and the patient doesn’t feel anything, for example, it could be a sign that they’re a non-responder (though this isn’t always the case). In patients where the spinal cord is completely severed, or where nerves and muscle tissue have literally died, then treatment may have little or no effect. In these cases, we hold out hope for novel therapies that may be able to help patients regenerate injured or decayed tissue.
When considering these categories, it’s important to keep in mind that we usually can’t know which one fits the patient until we start treatment. In too many cases, doctors and therapists write patients off before giving treatment a chance.
Over years of working with patients with neurological conditions, our NeuFit team has observed that more of these patients are responders than non-responders. Although we want to avoid creating false hope for patients with neurological conditions, we do want to inspire legitimate expectations. By working at the level of the brain and nervous system, we’ve seen many of these patients respond more quickly—and more significantly—to treatment than they imagined possible.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE NEUBIE® DEVICE IN TREATING NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS
As we’ve covered in our recent blog posts, there’s an overall amount of work required to drive positive neuroplastic adaptations. For patients dealing with neurological injuries and diseases, this translates into several hours of intense, high-quality work every day. With traditional approaches to rehab and physical therapy, this intense work often goes on for years before patients experience meaningful results.
That said, there are neurological treatment alternatives to the Neubie device that have the potential to help patients with neurological conditions. Techniques like constraint therapy, for example, can aid stroke recovery as well as help patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).2
Constraint therapy involves having patients use the affected side of the body by restricting movement on the unaffected side. How does it work in practice? Take a patient who can’t use their right hand. Over time, as they learn to rely more and more on their left hand, their right hand continues to lose strength and mobility due to learned disuse.
For this patient, constraint therapy would involve putting the left hand in a sling or covering it with a mitt to keep them from using it. Forcing them to use their right hand would stimulate the relevant nerves, eventually increasing function and triggering positive neuroplastic adaptations.
By driving movement in the body’s compromised areas, constraint therapy can help combat the effects of learned disuse. However, constraint therapy requires a big investment of time and effort, i.e., a daily minimum of four hours, and hundreds of thousands of reps, before patients see meaningful results.
From a rehab perspective, the NeuFit treatment approach has helped make a major difference in the lives of hundreds of people with neurological conditions—as well as thousands of people dealing with injury, surgery, and chronic pain.
This blog concludes our recent series on the major types of rehabilitation (see previous rehabilitation post here). We will be turning next to what happens when rehab is complete, the injury has healed, and the pain is gone. Now doesn’t that sound inspiring?!
The next consideration is a really important one. How do people transition safely and effectively from rehab to training?
Watch for the answer to this question along with a discussion of the neurological approach building blocks to long-term fitness and elite performance, in our upcoming blog posts.
Until then, let’s charge forward to better outcomes together!