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Neurologic Physical Therapy

What is a Neurologic Physical Therapy?

A neurologic physical therapist is a physical therapist that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with movement problems due to disease or injury of the nervous system. 

The types of neurological disabilities approached by this form of physical therapy might include: traumatic brain injury, stroke, ALS, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome or spinal cord injuries. Common types of impairments associated with neurologic conditions can include balance, vision, ambulation, movement, activities of daily living, speech, or loss of functional independence.

Physical therapy is very important for people who have previously experienced, or currently have a neurological disease or injury. A person’s spinal cord and brain control both their sensations and their movement. An injury to a person’s brain or spinal cord may cause death of cells which control specific movements and sensations, leading to loss of function. Physical therapy can help to prevent loss of function, helping a person to remain able to perform certain activities. Should a person decide to pursue decreased activity instead, they may also experience additional health problems that can include lung or heart problems, decreased independence, diabetes, and an overall reduction in their quality of life.

Following an injury there is an amount of time during which a person's cells that remain uninjured in their brain and spinal cord retain the ability to learn how to control the functions that have been lost. Physical therapists have the knowledge necessary in relation to human movement to teach people how to move correctly again. They are able to assist people in regaining some to most of the functions they have lost due to an injury. Many people can learn to live independently once again through physical therapy.

Neurological disorders affect a person’s nervous system and can happen in people from all age groups.

Neurological physical therapists work with people to alleviate pain, improve the person's balance and coordination, and help to restore their range of movement and motion.

There are different areas of specialization within the field of physical therapy. While this may be well known among people in the physical therapy profession, it is many times overlooked by people in the general public.

One of the most complex types of physical therapy involves neurological physical therapy which, if applied appropriately, helps to ensure that the person's nerve cells and motor functions work as they should. Neurological physical therapy can effectively help to reduce motor defects that impair the working of a person's nerve cells. Physical therapists who work in this area of specialization assist people to improve areas related to neurological dysfunction.


Polly Kubik, PT

Polly has been a licensed therapist since 1995 and has practiced in a variety of settings with the majority of her practice working with patients on the Neuro-rehabilitation unit. She started in 1997 with her post educational studies in Balance and Vestibular rehabilitation including Dr. Herdman's vestibular competency course, Neurocom Balance master integration training and community based fall prevention work. She has worked with both inpatients and outpatients over the years who are dealing with these issues. She is currently working here at Bryan West Campus in the outpatient services area treating patients who have various neurologic diagnosis. She is also providing comprehensive vestibular and balance testing services utilizing various tests and the neurocom balance master. Polly is passionate about providing care and educating patients and the public regarding the importance of being able to maintain balance and overcome disorders which effect this key skill in life. She lectures on the topic to both professionals and the community on a regular basis.

When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her daughter and cycling. 

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