The National Institutes of Health describe Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS) as a neurological disorder in which the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks part of the peripheral nervous system (the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord). The effects of GBS can range from mild weakness that is short lasting to near-paralysis leaving a person unable to move or breathe independently. Fortunately, most people are able to recover from GBS while some may have some residual weakness. Symptoms may include progressive weakness beginning from the feet and moving toward the trunk, numbness and tingling, sweating, changes in heart rate, incontinence, and/or joint pain.
How can physical therapy help?
Your physical therapist will first ask about the history of your GBS including the extent of its severity, how you’ve progressed with your recovery, what activities are still challenging, your goals for PT, and your current activity level. A comprehensive will help us to determine the impact of issues such as muscle weakness, decreased sensation, impaired reflexes, joint stiffness, poor balance, or difficulty walking. Based on your exam, a comprehensive treatment plan will be developed in order to maximize your return of function and achieve your goals!