Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Physiotherapy Applied to the Physical Dysfunction of the Nervous System

Physiotherapy Applied to the Physical Dysfunction of the Nervous System
First semester
Physiotherapy in clinical specialties
Physiotherapy applied to the physical dysfunction of the nervous system
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan

Teaching staff

Make an appointment by e-mail:

Dr. Carina Salgueiro carinafsalgueiro@gmail.com

Dr. Rosa Cabanas Valdés: rosacabanas@uic.es

Holder of the subject: Dr. Rosa Cabanas Valdés: rosacabanas@uic.es


Neurological physiotherapy currently improves the prognosis of many patients with diseases that affect the nervous system, both central and peripheral.

Neurological physiotherapy is a branch within physiotherapy that is dedicated to the treatment of alterations and injuries caused by an affectation of the central or peripheral Nervous System and that affect movement (both the motor and sensitive impairments).


Neurological physiotherapy focuses its activity on improving the patient's mobility and their independence. To do this, it creates new neurological pathways and/or reinforces existing ones, so that movement occurs. Thus, it will treat the different motor disorders affected by an injury at the level of the Central Nervous System (CNS). These can be caused by trauma, a certain neurodegenerative disease or as a consequence of a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).


Within neurological rehabilitation, neurological physiotherapy requires communication between all the professionals involved. It is necessary to know and identify the characteristics and needs of each patient to make the appropriate decisions and adapt physiotherapy techniques individually. For this reason, knowdledge of the different pathologies that each patient presents is essential for the professional physiotherapist.


Pre-course requirements

Have approved the subjects Physiopathology of Neurological Conditions and Anatomy of the Nervous System.



Minimum knowledge of: possible criteria to choose as postgraduate or master's degree neurophysiotherapy. Have a minimum knowledge to work if necessary with this type of patient.

As more specific objectives: To know how to use the different treatments and approaches in each type of neurological pathology.

Competences/Learning outcomes of the degree programme

  • 01 - The ability to analysis and synthesis.
  • 06 - To have comprehensive problem-solving skills.
  • 09 - Demonstrate critical thinking skills.
  • 10 - Develop autonomous learning skills.
  • 15 - Demonstrate a concern for quality.
  • 17 - The ability to work responsibly and autonomously, so as to handle job-related activities without the need for strict supervision.
  • 21 - Knowledge of the physiological and structural changes that can occur after physiotherapeutic interventions.
  • 25 - Knowledge of the principles and applications of measurement procedures in biomechanics and electrophysiology.
  • 28.3 - Show respect, appreciation and sensitivity towards the work of others.
  • 29.1 - Demonstrate a committment to ongoing learning and self-improvement.
  • 30.1 - Teamwork skills.
  • 37.1 - Use discretion, use available information appropriately and respect patient dignity and confidentiality
  • 37.5 - knowledge of the profession's deontological ethics codes
  • 38.1 - Respect for the rights of the patient and their family.
  • 43 - Knowledge of physiotherapeutic procedures based on techniques and methods specific to physiotherapy interventions applied to the various disorders of all systems and medical and surgical specialisations, as well as health promotion and disease prevention.
  • 48.2 - Ability to assess the patient's/client's needs in order to give priority to the ones that could compromise the rehabilitation process.
  • 49 - Ability to design a physiotherapy treatment plan.
  • 49.1 - Ability to develop a specific physiotherapy treatment plan through clinical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • 50 - Ability to execute, direct and coordinate a physiotherapy treatment plan while attending to the client's individual needs and using therapeutic tools specific to the physiotherapy profession.
  • 50.1 - Ability to establish and implement physical therapy in treatments provided by all other medical and surgical specialties whenever it is deemed necessary.
  • 50.10 - Ability to establish a scheduled plan to follow during treatment.
  • 50.2 - Ability to design and apply therapeutic exercises specifically designed for cardiorespiratory, orthopedic, traumatologic, pediatric, rheumatologic, geriatric, neurologic, pulmonary, and sport-related diseases and injuries, as well as those for spine defects, urinary and fecal incontinence and pre/post-partum exercises.
  • 50.8 - Ability to encourage the client and family to participate in the rehabilitation process.
  • 51 - Ability to assess the outcomes of the physiotherapy treatment against the initial goals set and the established outcome criteria.
  • 51.1 - Ability to design and set up activities related to disease prevention and health promotion.
  • 51.2 - Ability to assess the patient's /client's progress.
  • 51.3 - Ability to re-assess and modify treatment goals if necessary, and to adjust the intervention or treatment plan according to the new goals.
  • 52.1 - Ability to interpret medical prescriptions.
  • 52.2 - Capacity to prepare a comfortable environment in which physiotherapy will be provided.
  • 52.3 - Ability to keep the patient informed about the treatment by explaining the tests and techniques that are involved, the preparation they require, to ensure the patient's collaboration at all times.
  • 53.1 - Ability to design and set up activities related to health promotion and disease prevention.

Learning outcomes of the subject

The student

  • The student must be able at the end of the course, with a minimum of knowledge, to be able to apply the treatment to neurological patients.

  • Knows and understands the principles and foundations of clinical reasoning in the field of neurology.

  • Apply appropriate and adapted therapeutics in peripheral neurological lesions.

  • Plan the exercises and modifications that are intended to be obtained in a consistent manner based on the pathology and the problems presented by the patient.


Theoretical topics

1. Objectives of Neurological Physiotherapy and postural tone

2. Postural changes and transfers

3. Core stability exercises and trunk

4. Postural Control and balance

5. Peripheral nerve.  Introduction to neurodynamics

6. Coordination exercises

7. Lower extremity neurologic rehabilitation

8. Upper extremity neurologic rehabilitation

9. Standing and walking

10. Alterations of perception and sensitivity

11. Cognitive alterations, apraxia and hemineglect 

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Training activities: theoretical and practical lessons. 

Guided activities (50%): 

1. Presentation of theoretical content using PowerPoint presentations, with explanations and videos of patients with demonstrations by the teacher.

  2. Case work: students analyze professional situations on patients presented by the teacher in order to perform an experimental conceptualization and search for effective solutions.

3. Put into practice those skills developed in classes  

Supervised activities (50%):  

1. Supervised session where students work in groups (2-3) and receive assistance and guidance when needed.

 2. Activities carried out in spaces equipped for physical therapy practices with teacher demonstrations first and subsequent student performance of the activities.

theoretical and practical workshops
cooperative learning
case method
problem-solving exercises
06 09 21 25 28.3 30.1 38.1 43 48.2 49 49.1 50 50.1 50.2 50.8 51 51.1 51.2 51.3 52 52.1 52.2 52.3 2.4
self-learning activities
apprenticeship contract
01 10 15 17 29.1 37.1 37.5 50.10 53.1 57 1.2
student's independant work-study
37.5 43 53.1 2.4

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

Continuous assessment (40%): class activities. Group work:  oral presentation

Final practical exam (40%): Practical realization of one clinic case of the different treatments realized in the class.

It is allowed to miss 30% of the hours of the seminar, if this 30% is exceeded the subject is suspended and consequently will not be able to apply for the 2nd call for applications.

In the second call, if the continuous assessment is failed, a practical exam will account for 80% of the final mark and 20% of the theory exam (20 questions).


Attendance Regulations

The subjects in the Physiotherapy Degree present theoretical and practical content in which the main objective is the acquisition and development of procedures and technical skills that are directly related to the professional practice. These classes are structed in small groups where there is direct and continuous supervision of the teacher. Therefore, attendance to seminars is considered essential and necessary to ensure the acquisition of these skills. Based on what has been presented above, absences will only be excused to those who have missed class due to major causes and even under these circumstances, if they miss more than 30% of the training work, students will have to retake the subject in the next academic year, without the possibility of a resit. The consequences derived from non-compliance with this regulation can have very negative effects directly related to the registration process (overlapping and / or academic incompatibilities), as well as the corresponding expectations in the completion of the Degree.

Bibliography and resources



  • Bente E. BassǾe Gjelsvick. THE BOBATH CONCEPT  IN ADULT NEUROLOGY.  ed. Thieme Medical Publishers. Edición: 01/2007. ISBN-10: 1588906213,ISBN-13: 978-1588906212.
  • Anne Shumway-Cook, Marjorie H. Woollacott. MOTOR CONTROL. Ed.Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. The Point. USA. Edición:02 /2009.ISBN: 0-683-30643-X.
  • Sue Raine, Linzi Meadows, Mary Lynch-Ellerrington.BOBATH CONCEPT. THEORY AND CLINICAL PRACTICE  IN NEUROLOGICAL REHABILITATION.  Ed. Wiley-Blackwell. United Kingdom. Edición: 01/2009. ISBN-10: 1405170417, ISBN-13: 978-1405170413.
  • Control y Aprendizaje Motor, Cano de la Cuerda Editorial Médica Panamericana.
  • Carlo Perfetti, El ejercicio terapéutico cognoscitivo para la reeducación del hemipléjico adulto, Edikame.
  • Paola Reggiani, L’immagine motoria come strumento per l’esercizio terapéutico, Biblioteca A.R.Lurija.
  • Carlo Perfetti, Aldo Pieroni, Cervelletto e processi cognitivi: Implicazione riabilitative, Biblioteca A.R.Lurija.
  • Revistas Riabilitazione Neurocognitiva, quadrimestrale di Scienze del Recupero, Riabilitazione Cultura


Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 24/10/2023 G1 08:00h
  • E1 24/10/2023 G2 08:00h
  • E1 26/10/2023 G2 08:00h
  • E1 26/10/2023 G1 08:00h
  • E1 31/10/2023 G2 08:00h
  • E1 31/10/2023 G1 08:00h
  • E1 09/11/2023 G2 08:00h
  • E1 09/11/2023 G1 08:00h
  • E2 26/06/2024 I1 12:00h
  • E2 26/06/2024 G1 12:00h

Teaching and learning material