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Many people with neurological conditions often have difficulty with their motor skills. Motor skills are learned movement patterns. In a healthy person these learned movement patterns combine to produce smooth, efficient action that allow task to be completed. For example kicking a ball or brushing your teeth.

Neurological physiotherapist assisting fine motor skill mobilisation exercises Above: Neurological physiotherapist assisting fine motor skill mobilisation exercises

There are two types of motor skills:
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
Fine motor skills are actions requiring the use of small muscle groups to complete precise tasks. For example writing, doing up buttons, playing a flute are all tasks that require good fine motor skills.

Gross motor skills are actions requiring the use of large muscle groups to complete tasks. For example running, walking and jumping.

Motor skills are produced in an area of the brain call the motor cortex. This is the area of the brain that controls voluntary muscle groups. If someone has a neurological problem then they can have problems that affect the motor cortex, the nervous system or the muscles themselves. This can make it more difficult to produce an accurate and efficient movement. The specialist physiotherapists at work with people who have problems with their motor skills as a result of a neurological or developmental condition.

Physiotherapy for difficulty with gross or fine motor skills

If you have a problem with your motor skills physiotherapy at will improve your ability with gross and fine motor skills by improving your postural stability, balance and muscle strength. Physiotherapy treatment at will improve your ability with gross or fine motor skills through a variety of techniques including:
  • Exercises to strengthen muscles in the trunk arms and legs
  • Stretching stiff muscles and joints
  • Facilitating normal movement in postural sets (such as rolling, ly to sit, sit to stand)
  • Core stability exercises. Having a stronger trunk will help move your arms and legs better.
  • Balance training
  • Gait training
  • Stair practice
  • Mirror therapy to increase awareness of body when moving
  • Breaking down activities into smaller parts and practising these tasks
  • Weight bearing exercises
  • Cueing activities using verbal and visual prompts
At, your treatment will depend on your individual symptoms and needs. Physiotherapy treatment will improve your independence with functional tasks by increasing your muscle strength and flexibility and improving balance and proprioception.

For more information on how physiotherapy can help you or to book an appointment please call 0330 088 7800.

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