Glenn Nielsen is a NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow at the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology and a Physiotherapist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Working with Dr Mark Edwards, he has set up specialist physiotherapy service for functional motor disorders (FMD). His research is concerned with developing physiotherapy treatments for FMD and a feasibility study of specialist physiotherapy intervention for FMD.
Patients with functional motor disorders are commonly referred to physiotherapists. There is growing evidence for the efficacy of physical treatments, but there is limited information in the literature on how this should be delivered and the role of physical treatments may seem ambiguous when symptom explanations stress the importance of psychological factors. Recent theories seeking to explain functional symptoms on a neurobiological level have provided a clearer rationale for physiotherapy and a framework to help plan and deliver specific treatment. This talk will explore the idea that a specific physiotherapy approach can target mechanisms responsible for functional motor symptoms. The outcomes of a physiotherapy service based on this approach will be presented.