Kyle was told a long time ago by his neurologist there was no hope. You see, a degenerative disease runs in Kyle's family. A disease that has taken 3 of his 4 children, his mom, and eventually will take Kyle's life as well. Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) is a rare, genetic condition that has a degenerative impact on the Cerebellum - also called the "mini brain".
The Cerebellum is extensively involved in controlling balance, posture, and coordination. As SCA progresses, remaining on your feet becomes increasingly difficult. When Dr. Hurt first met Kyle, he told her he was experiencing falls daily. His wife was becoming more concerned about leaving him home alone while she worked. In the past, the family had enjoyed RV trips to visit their family and friends spread out across the country. However, they had not been able to go because Kyle was having more and more difficulty navigating the RV and using the steps to get in and out.
Dr. Hurt had worked with clients with strokes that had effected their cerebellum. But strokes are a one time deal. The damage is done once and for all and then recovery can take place. She had not worked with someone with SCA and wasn't sure how to account for the degenerative component in Kyle's case. She didn't want to make false promises - after all, Kyle's neurologist had told him there was no need for further neurology appointments at this stage in the game. Hope was fading. So Dr. Hurt hit the scientific journals and found two compelling articles that supported physical therapy's role in SCA. Hope in fact existed, but with the right evaluation and the right interventions.
She used the science to support her treatment plan and developed a home exercise program Kyle could do safely on his own. She worked with Kyle in his home once weekly for about 10 weeks. Kyle was gradually reporting less falls, increased confidence to participate in yard work and help manage the house. Kyle was discharged from physical therapy with an individualized exercise program he could continue working on while on an RV trip to North Carolina with his wife and son.
Kyle recently returned from his RV trip and told Dr. Hurt his exercise program is still effective - he hasn't fallen in months.
At It Matters Neurologic Rehabilitation - Science Matters. Dr. Hurt used her knowledge and research capability to find the right treatment intervention specifically for Kyle. Previous therapy had been ineffective in reducing his falls, but with the right science driving the interventions, Kyle is thriving once again.