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Neurological physiotherapy treatment will help manage contractures (soft tissue shortening) in order to limit and correct contraction of limbs. Contractures can occur when the hands, feet leg or arms slowly start to pull in towards the body and stiffen up. This can also be a symptom of other neurological conditions such as a stroke, spinal cord injury or Parkinson’s. The onset of connective tissue shortening and stiffness in response to prolonged immobilisation caused by paralysis is rapid. The development of contractures may also occur due to muscle weakness and spasticity (increased muscle tone).

mobilisation and stretch exercises to the hip, knee and ankle applied by a specialist physiotherapistAbove: mobilisation and stretch exercises to the hip, knee and ankle applied by a specialist physiotherapist

Physiotherapy treatment will help reduce the impact that contractures have on your life and increase your independence with daily tasks. Physiotherapy treatment may include:
  • Structured range of movement program including passive and active movements to increase circulation, provide joint lubrication and to stretch soft tissues.
  • Positioningthis will be continually assessed in lying, sitting and standing making it as functional as possible to prevent muscle shortening and decrease pain.
  • Heat to decrease muscle pain and assist tissue lengthening before stretching.
  • Stretchingthis may involve the use of splints or casts for prolonged stretch of the soft tissue surrounding a joint.
  • Massage helps maintain tissue mobility and nutrition.
  • Manual techniques - joint mobilization may be used to increase joint flexibility and decrease pain.
  • Advice and support on orthotic devices and adaptive equipment.
  • Training for family or carers on positioning and posture
At our neurological physiotherapist are experienced at treating individuals with contracture problems. Physiotherapy treatment will help you achieve your optimal functional capabilities through correct positioning, advice on comfortable postures and stretching. This will also ensure that you are safe around your home and avoid falls and injuries.

Your structured treatment programme will be suited to your needs and involve short and long term goals to make sure you reach your maximum potential.

For more information on contracture management or to book an appointment today, please call on 0330 088 7800, or alternatively book online.

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