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Neurological physiotherapy for Spina Bifida

The neurological physiotherapists at Liverpool Neuro Physio commonly treat conditions such as Spina Bifida.

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a defect that occurs during birth when the spinal column is affected. It is a disorder that affects the development of the brain and the spinal cord. Some children born with spinal bifida may have had an opening in their spine after birth which was surgically repaired. Any nerve damage caused is permanent. The result will vary depending of the individual's extent of nerve damage. The damage to the nerves may cause physical mobility difficulties and disabilities in a person. The causes of spina bifida are unknown.

Physiotherapy is beneficial for anyone suffering from spina bifida to help maintain movement and prevent any further weakness.

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Types of Spina Bifida?

There are a few different types of Spina bifida, these include:

Occult Spinal Dysraphism (OSD)

Infants may have this, it is characterised by a dimple on the lower back, and it may also be characterized by tufts of hair, lumps or red marks. The spinal cord may grow in the wrong way as the child grows up.

Spina Bifida Occulta (SPO)

Around fifteen percent of the normal population have it and do not realise. It can only be identified by an x-ray.


This may cause part of the spinal cord to come out through the spine like a small sac, usually there is no nerve damage. People who suffer from this may have minor disabilities.


The most severe form. The spinal cord and nerves come through the open part in the spine. It can cause nerve damage. A large percentage of children with this condition have a lot of fluid on their brain. Fluid will build up causing pressure and swelling. Without treatment a child's head an become big from swelling causing brain damage.

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Effects of Spina Bifida?

The symptoms of Spina bifida will vary from person to person. Some of the symptoms of spina bifida may include:

Tuft of hair/red patch on lower back

This usually signifies little disability. A lot of people do not realise they have it until they go for an x ray.

Muscle weakness/disability

This is due to the damage of nerves that supply the muscles. Damage to these nerves will result in altered sensation along with weakness and sometimes disability.


This is more common with myelomeningocele spina bifida.

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Physiotherapy treatment for Spina Bifida?

Our physiotherapists at Liverpool Neuro Physio know how important it is to continue with physiotherapy if you have spina bifida. At Liverpool Neuro Physio the physiotherapists understand your condition extremely well and will know how to deal with mobility problems you may be experiencing. The physiotherapists know how important things such as independence are extremely valuable to you so they will work with you to produce a treatment plan specific to what you want to achieve. Some of your physiotherapy treatment may include the following:

Physiotherapy for children with spina bifida

Our physiotherapists at Liverpool Neuro Physio have sound knowledge into your child's condition. The physiotherapist understand the physical problems your child will be experiencing and will have the best knowledge on physiotherapeutic techniques to help them to develop. The physiotherapist will work closely with your child to try and help them maximise their development to their full potential by using specific techniques in their treatment.

The physiotherapist will work your child's development. Physiotherapy will differ in each individual. The physiotherapist will concentrate on your child's developmental milestones and work to achieve as much as possible.

The physiotherapist at Liverpool Neuro Physio will provide your child with the most effective treatment to make their sessions as fun as possible for them whilst continuing to work on the physical problems they may have. This will ensure that your child will enjoy their physiotherapy sessions.

Physiotherapy for adults with Spina bifida

When treating adults with spina bifida physiotherapy concentrates on maximising your current abilities to prevent you from getting worse. The physiotherapist will work alongside you to guide you and motivate you to get as much independence as you can by incorporating the correct exercise techniques into your treatment to help you to get as much strength in your muscles as you can. This strength will help you to continue with your daily routine by keeping normal movement patterns.

Your physiotherapists will also work with by providing stretching techniques. These techniques will ensure that you have a good amount of flexibility in your joints and prevent any muscle stiffness or contractures from developing. Working on both your strength and flexibility will improve how you transfer around your home and reduce your risk of falling.

Your physiotherapist can carry out a home assessment to see your safety in and around your home. They can then work on making it as safe as possible for you to live as independently as you can without you having to worry about your safety. The physiotherapists at Liverpool Neuro Physio may provide you with any necessary equipment you may require around your home or any walking aids you may need to increase your safety as much as possible. Even providing you with Liverpool's Neuro Physio falls service may benefit you.

Your physiotherapist wants you to be as independent as possible so they may teach exercise programmes to you and your family so you can continue with physiotherapy in between sessions; this will ensure that you get the most out of your treatment at Liverpool Neuro Physio.

To arrange an appointment or to speak to one of our specialists, call us on 0151 558 0188 or email office@liverpoolneurophysio.co.uk.

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Get in touch

Please call us on 0151 558 0188 or email us at office@liverpoolneurophysio.co.uk

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