Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is an auto immune syndrome which affects the peripheral nervous system. The most common symptom is paralysis of the feet and hands which migrates upwards towards the trunk. Sensory impairment, pain and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system are also seen in the subgroups of GBS. An individual can make a full recovery from GBS however 10-20% of those affected are left with residual paralysis.
At the Birkdale Clinic we have found, in addition to the sensory and motor impairment experienced, those with GBS tend to present with impaired static and dynamic balance. Furthermore due to weakness of the neck muscles, their vision tends to be fixed on the ground affecting their centre of gravity and ability to use their vision to maintain their balance. Therefore to address this we incorporate visual exercises into our therapeutic practise to enable relearning of the use of vision in varying postural sets to assist with movement and maintaining balance. Furthermore, we have found the use of brushing to be beneficial to improve tactile sensation, and the use of the power plate to improve sense of vibration to the joint preceptors.