Bobath Therapy – A branch of Neurological Rehabilitation

What is Bobath Therapy?

Bobath therapy is currently the most widely use neuro-rehabilitation approach in the world (1). It originated in the 1940s through the work of Berta and Karel Bobath who discovered the potential for recovery in people with neurological impairments. Through decades of research and scientific advancements since then, the Bobath Concept has evolved to become more and more refined. The most updated definition of the Bobath Concept is: “an inclusive, individualized therapeutic approach to optimize movement recovery and potential for persons with neurological pathophysiology informed by contemporary movement and neuroscience” (2).

Let’s break that down – the Bobath Concept is:

  • Inclusive, uses a holistic approach
  • Explores the individual’s potential
  • Based on current knowledge of movement science and neuroscience

This definition is the foundation for the analysis and treatment within the Bobath Concept. It incorporates how an individual’s task, environment, cognition/perception, and goals influence a particular ‘movement problem’. Bobath treatment is individualized and unique to each of these factors as well – two people with the same clinical diagnosis may have completely different treatment, purely because of these underlying individual differences. Treatment focuses on recovery of typical movement and minimizing compensatory movement, in light of each person’s individual lived experiences.

The Bobath Concept considers the integration and interaction of:

  • Postural control and selective movement
  • Active alignment of body segments
  • And the integration and response to sensory information

Bobath therapists undergo extensive training in order to learn how to manipulate and faciltiate these elements to promote the best movement potential for each person.

Rebecca Chow, Physiotherapist

Interested in Bobath therapy? Book with one of our Bobath trained therapists today!

References:

  • Vaughan-Graham, J., Cott, C., & Wright, F. V. (2015). The Bobath (NDT) concept in adult neurological rehabilitation: what is the state of the knowledge? A scoping review. Part I: conceptual perspectives. Disability and rehabilitation, 37(20), 1793-1807.
  • Vaughan-Graham, J., Cheryl, C., Holland, A., Michielsen, M., Magri, A., Suzuki, M., & Brooks, D. (2019). Developing a revised definition of the Bobath concept: Phase three. Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy, e1832.

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