Neurorehabilitation is a complex process which aims to aid recovery from a neurological injury (such as a brain or spinal injury) and to minimise any resulting physical, cognitive and emotional effects.

At Christchurch Group our rehabilitation programme has a goal-orientated approach. Residents and their family work with the therapy team to set goals about their physical progress, functional abilities, future independence, leisure and work activities and interaction and communication with those around them.

An interdisciplinary team of neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and specialist nurses provide therapy to help individuals meet their goals.

Find out how each part of the interdisciplinary team works alongside consultants and rehabilitation assistants to deliver effective therapy by following the links on the left.

Learn about neurological rehabilitation with our introduction videos.

At Christchurch Group, psychiatrists work alongside the interdisciplinary team. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication and other forms of treatment.

Neuropsychologists have a broad clinical knowledge base and have highly developed skills of the brain, behaviours and emotional responses to brain and spinal injuries.

They work with people who have suffered the effects of a traumatic brain injury, strokes, toxic and metabolic disorders, tumours and neurodegenerative diseases or a combination of these. Work is undertaken holistically and involves working with the patient, families, carers and the therapy team to provide the best possible rehabilitation to try and reduce the cognitive, emotional and behavioural consequences of their conditions and adjustment to their new situation.

This process usually starts by undertaking detailed assessments of the patients cognitive and behavioural abilities and their emotional response to their current situation. This information is used to design personal rehabilitation programs in consultation with individuals wherever possible. The effectiveness of these interventions are monitored and the rehabilitation interventions are modified as necessary as the patient’s abilities change.

Our highly experienced team of specialist neurophysiotherapists work with the multidisciplinary team to set tailored goals to improve function and support self-management of patients.

On entering at Christchurch Group service, residents will be assess for weakness in limbs, trunk and face, gait, balance, coordination problems, perceptual impairments including visiospatial dysfunction, sensory loss, visual problems, falls, fatigue, pain, spasticity, respiratory function, moving and handling body alignments, range of movement in joints and muscle tone.

All rehabilitation is based on an assessments of each patient’s unique disability. Goals are set and worked towards. This includes task specific training, gait training, therapeutic positioning, strength training, functional electrical stimulation, sensory work, balance training, walking aids, splinting, constraint induced movement therapy, scanning techniques, pain management, spasticity management, taping techniques, fatigue management, hydrotherapy, education, tracheostomy management and chest physiotherapy. Hydrotherapy pools and gyms provide access to specialist equipment enables patients to achieve the best possible outcomes.

– WATCH: Professor Mike Barnes discusses the management of spasticity and muscle contractions following a brain or spinal injury or as a result of a neurological condition.

– WATCH: Physiotherapist Su Crossland explains how individuals with spasticity as a result of a brain or spinal injury, stroke or neurological condition can be helped by seating and posture management.

– WATCH: Physiotherapist Sarah Cameron explains how individuals with neurological difficulties can suffer from visual problems including ocular motor control, muscular control, visual field loss and abnormalities, visual perception loss, hemianopia, and homonymous hemianopia.

– WATCH: Physiotherapist Kiran Mattoru explains how splinting can be used to increase functionality of individuals suffering from muscle contractions as a result of a brain injury or neurological condition.

Speech and Language therapists work with individuals whose speech, language, swallowing and eating is affected following a brain or spinal injury or neurological condition.

Speech and Language therapists help people to overcome swallowing and communication difficulties. Brain injury can cause impairment of speech, language and swallowing abilities, resulting in the three main conditions for which speech and language therapists are uniquely qualified to treat.

WATCH: Speech and Language Therapist Alison Nickson introduces common communication impairments individuals may experience following a brain injury or neurological condition in our short video.

  • Dysarthria is a condition that affects an individual’s ability to produce speech
  • Dysphasia affects the ability to understand and use language to communicate
  • Dysphagia is a muscular disorder that effects an individual’s ability to swallow, drink or eat

It is the Speech and Language therapist’s role to assess these problems and to inform the rehabilitation team and family about suitable communication methods as well as advice about food and fluid consistency. Speech and Language therapists work with the individual to develop verbal and non-verbal strategies of communication.

At Christchurch Group, we have a wide range of complementary therapies available to residents undergoing neurological rehabilitation.

Residents can take part in Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP), which involves movement of the body as an expressive instrument of a person’s communication, feelings and thoughts. This creative process is only used by a handful of trained therapists in the UK – at Christchurch Group, Occupational Therapist Kiera Stephenson delivers the sessions. There is no set structure during therapy sessions – it’s is led by the participant to identify and explore their current needs.

Sessions include the use of movement, music, artwork and props such as balls, metronomes, scarves, parachutes and Octabands. The therapy allows participants to express themselves creatively, foster relationships, work through their difficulties and develop their strengths. Using movement and dance, participants can communicate their personal thoughts and feelings in their own instinctive way, where other therapies may not be appropriate particularly if verbal communication is an issue. DMP is not about teaching a dance technique and participants do not need any dance skills or training to take part. The sessions encourage creative expression through use of the body and movement, working with rhythm, storytelling through motion, vocalisation, posture, gesture, mime, movement patterns and shape.

Also available is music therapy, which is provided by Attune Music Therapy at Woodlands only at the moment. Music therapists encourage individuals to share in creating sound and making music to express themselves using their own voice and instruments. It’s not about learning an instrument, but about using music as the main focus of interaction between a therapist and an individual. Sessions can be 1:1 or in a group and music therapy can help individuals with brain injuries to support their emotional expression, social skills, planning and behaviour, communication and physical functioning. Music therapists are HPC registered professionals who have a Masters Degree. They are regulated by the British Association of Music Therapists.