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Simplest Home Physiotherapy Techniques for Guillain Barré Patients

Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS) can be a tough diagnosis to handle. For most patients, finding the right treatment path is quite challenging. Navigating medication and rehabilitation can feel a bit like trying to cross a busy road with your shoes tied together. 

We understand how overwhelming the influx of information and multiple GBS treatment options can feel. Juggling commitments with doctor’s appointments, that too with a body that seems to fight against you adds to the stress.

That’s why home physiotherapy is a practical and convenient way to rebuild strength and mobility. Although GBS might seem isolating, the right approach will help you find your rhythm again.

In this blog, we briefly cover what exactly GBS is and all you need to know about GBS rehabilitation at home. We’ll also share practical tips to help you safely work towards your fitness goals.

Remember to always consult a physiotherapist for advice and customised strategies that would be right for you.

Understanding Guillain Barré Syndrome

In our previous post, we discussed Guillain Barre’s physiotherapy treatment in detail. We highlighted some key symptoms like muscle weakness, tingling, and difficulty with balance. Clinical physiotherapy is crucial for treating GBS. The problem is that relying solely on a clinic or physio can be difficult. That’s where home physiotherapy steps in.

GBS home exercises offer you flexibility while maintaining your progress. This way, you don’t necessarily depend on a clinic to care for your aching body.

Preparing Your Home for GBS Exercises at Home:

Before starting any GBS exercises or home physiotherapy routine, have a professional assess your current abilities and limitations. Clearcut Physiotherapy can arrange an initial evaluation for you.

Here’s the kicker: we’ve got the knack for making even the tiniest London flats work as your perfect home physio environment. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

●     Equipment and Safety 

You’ll need essential equipment like resistance bands and non-slip mats to maximise results. Ensure you also have sturdy chairs for seated exercises and clear walking paths to prevent accidents.

●     Creating a Therapeutic Environment 

Design an exercise-friendly space that’s both comfortable and safe. Keep the room well-lit and clutter-free. To make exercises effective ensure the furniture is arranged to support your movements.

Image Alt Text	Patient testimonial for rehab at Clearcut Physiotherapy in London.

Core Exercises for Muscle Strength in Guillain Barré Syndrome

Muscle weakness is one of the most challenging symptoms of Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS). Losing strength can make it tough to maintain independence. Here are some targeted GBS home exercises for stronger muscles:

●     Leg Lifts and Ankle Rolls

To perform a leg lift, lie on a mat or bed, keeping your legs straight. Slowly lift one leg at a time without bending your knee.

For ankle rolls, rotate your ankles in circular motions while lying down.

●     Arm Raises and Wrist Bends 

Weakness in the upper body can lead to wrist drop and make everyday tasks difficult. Here are two Guillain Barre gold standard exercises to improve arm and wrist strength:

Arm raises are easy to perform: Hold light dumbbells and raise your arms to the side or overhead.

Wrist bends help strengthen your forearms and wrists: Hold a small weight and gently flex your wrist up and down.

Techniques to Improve Balance and Coordination

Balance and coordination often get compromised by the GBS. These symptoms can significantly hinder your daily functioning and overall quality of life. Here’s how you can fix that at home:

●     Standing Yoga Poses 

Yoga is a fantastic way to improve core stability, which supports better balance. Begin with straightforward poses like the tree pose using a wall for support. Place your body against a wall for stability and position one foot against the opposite knee. Maintain this posture to build your balance gradually.

●     Chair-Assisted Exercises 

Chair-assisted exercises are a prime example of GBS home exercises that enhance balance and coordination. Position yourself behind a sturdy chair, using the backrest for support. Gently lift one leg to the side or back. Focus on keeping your movements smooth and controlled. This exercise helps improve your balance while strengthening muscles that support these movements.

Addressing Respiratory Function

GBS often weakens the muscles needed for proper breathing. Maintaining and improving respiratory function is vital for Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS) patients. Strengthening your respiratory muscles is important for:

  • Increasing lung capacity,
  • Supporting better oxygenation
  • Improving your overall energy levels.

Here are two simple (and fun!) GBS home exercises to give your respiratory muscles a boost:

●     Deep Breathing Exercises 

Deep breathing exercises help you improve lung capacity and strengthen the respiratory muscles affected by GBS. Diaphragmatic breathing is a proven GBS treatment for expanding lung capacity and encouraging efficient breathing.

Inhale deeply through your nose, letting your abdomen expand fully. Then, exhale slowly through pursed lips, allowing your belly to flatten. This controlled breathing method engages the diaphragm and can improve your breathing efficiency over time.

●     Humming and Singing 

Try humming and singing for a more enjoyable way to strengthen your respiratory muscles. A few minutes of daily humming can help activate your diaphragm and other breathing muscles. Singing simple tunes with controlled breaths is also a great Guillain Barre treatment that improves lung function.

These simple exercises require no equipment and are great for working out while lifting your spirits. Deep breathing and singing support your respiratory system and build your stamina for daily activities.

Incorporating Everyday Activities into Rehabilitation

In our experience, personalised programs yield the most effective and lasting results. But how can any Guillain Barre treatment help if it isn’t designed for you?

At Clearcut Physiotherapy, we prioritise simple movements and modify them to suit your schedule for when you don’t have time for extensive exercises.

We customise all home PT regimens by integrating therapeutic movements into your everyday activities.

Here are some great GBS home exercises for improving your strength and mobility that you can easily integrate into your routine so you can exercise without specifically carving out time for PT:

  1. Reaching for shelves: Improves shoulder strength and flexibility by reaching high or low shelves to retrieve or place items. If reaching high seems challenging, start with lower shelves or light objects.
  2. Walking short distances: Regular movement builds stamina and maintains mobility. Walk in your back garden, do laps around the living room, or walk to the shops. Make sure to add variety to your exercise while going about your daily routine.
  3. Household chores: Make simple household chores, like sweeping, dusting, or folding laundry, your exercise. These tasks can help enhance coordination and promote gentle movement while getting tasks off your to-do list!

Try weaving various movements into your daily routine to strengthen your body naturally. Think of each exercise as a stepping stone toward regaining your confidence and independence.

Your Next Steps

Combating Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS) requires consistency, patience, and regular consultation with your healthcare team. Even with these Guillain Barre gold standard exercises, healing takes time.

Your progress won’t always be linear, but staying adaptable and consistent will ultimately lead to better results.

For professional guidance, visit us at one of our Clearcut Physiotherapy clinics in Eltham, Battersea, or Norbury. Our team is ready to support you with personalised programs and expert advice to help you maintain a steady and meaningful recovery. Schedule your appointment now and start your journey toward strength and mobility!

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