Functional neurological disorder
Supporting you with individualised physiotherapy
What is FND?
Functional Neurological Disorder, or FND, is a problem with the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body send and receive signals. In simple terms, it’s a software problem rather than a hardware problem, because there is no organic damage to the brain or nervous system.
Symptoms can vary widely, and may include weakness or paralysis, seizures, speech issues and many others. FND is best approached with a multi-disciplinary team working together. With your permission, we’ll communicate with your team, and make recommendations and referrals to other professionals.
Symptoms can vary widely, and will look differently in everyone:
Weakness or paralysis
Numbness or loss of sensation
* slurring or inability to speak
Symptoms of FND
FND can manifest with various neurological symptoms that may vary widely from person to person. These may include:
- Abnormal movement, such as difficulty walking
- Vision problems and blindness
- Weakness or paralysis
- Non-epileptic seizures
- Loss of balance
- Slurred speech
- Severe fatigue
- Brain fog
How we can help
Treatment for FND
Although many people in the general population have not heard of FND, it’s a common neurological condition. Some people with FND have a history of a traumatic event. Depression, anxiety and stress can worsen the condition.
The first step is to have an in-depth assessment to help us understand your particular situation and unique challenges. This assessment focuses on your story and history, so we know what your day-to-day life looks like and what you’ve done so far. A physical assessment will give us insight into your abilities and how we can work together to maximise function and mobility.
A multi-disciplinary approach is essential to achieve the best possible outcomes, especially for people with FND. We believe in a team effort, so we’ll work with other trusted health professionals, such as a Neurologist, Psychologist and Occupational Therapist.
FND can be impacted by psychological factors, and having FND may in itself contribute to distress and even depression. For this reason, support by a qualified clinical psychologist with experience in this area can be very helpful, in conjunction with physical therapy. We can work with your psychologist to develop and implement strategies to help manage your FND symptoms.
We’ll work with you to achieve your goals. Physiotherapy may include education, strategies to help you manage symptoms and a tailored exercise program. Therapy may include exercises aimed at improving your stamina, as well as exercises to retrain your brain on how to move correctly, also called neuroplasticity. Watch the following video to understand what neuroplasticity is.