Nervous System Conditions

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Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

In chapter 5, on nervous pathologies, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is outlined. GBS is a rapidly progressive peripheral nerve paralysis. My sister’s father in law contracted GBS about 3 years ago. Up until that time, he was a vibrant, healthy man who was very active at work, in the community and had many hobbies. As the text stated, the cause is unknown. There was a thought by his doctors that he somehow contracted this from eating chicken that may not have been fully cooked. Either way, his recovery has been very slow and painful, and they are unsure if he will ever regain the vitality and muscle strength that he had. At first, he was totally paralyzed. Slowly, with much intense therapy and medications for pain management, he began to show improvement. He is now able to walk short distances with leg braces and a walker – which is a huge accomplishment for him! The other terrible side of GBS is the accompanying depression that he faces. I do not know if this is somehow linked to GBS or if it perhaps just due to his life changing so dramatically and the feeling of hopelessness that he faced. This has been very hard not only on him, but also his wife and my sister’s whole family. He still requires full time care, and the pain worsens in the evening. Family events are scheduled carefully so that he can attend. He has made improvements due to multiple therapies, including physical, occupational, aquatic based, as well as massage. He continues to fight to recover!

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