Journal of Biomedical and Sustainable Healthcare Applications

A Review of the Evolution and Advancements of Neurological Physical Therapy

Journal of Biomedical and Sustainable Healthcare Applications

Received On : 10 October 2022

Revised On : 30 July 2023

Accepted On : 10 September 2023

Published On : 05 January 2024

Volume 04, Issue 01

Pages : 063-072


Over the years, the discipline of neurological physical therapy has undergone modifications, with a shift in focus from muscular weakness to non-muscular issues. Neurofacilitation and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) are methods designed to improve both the flexibility and muscular power of people. The rehabilitation environment and the duration of physical activity are also crucial. The advancement of robot-assisted therapy and the implementation of suitable training methodologies have the potential to enhance the functionality of individuals with neurological impairments. This research examines the advancement of neurological physical therapy and the advancements achieved in treatment techniques aimed at enhancing functional mobility. This article explores the influence of early research in neurophysiology and experimental models on therapeutic approaches, highlighting the need of incorporating advancements in neurology into clinical practice. The research emphasizes the importance of motor learning, muscle biology, biomechanics, and exercise science in optimizing motor performance and facilitating functional motor recovery.


Neurorehabilitation, Neurological Physical Therapy, Neurorehabilitation Therapy, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation.

  1. M. Caleo, “Rehabilitation and plasticity following stroke: Insights from rodent models,” Neuroscience, vol. 311, pp. 180–194, Dec. 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.10.029.
  2. D. E. Meyer, R. A. Abrams, S. Kornblum, C. E. Wright, and J. Smith, “Optimality in human motor performance: Ideal control of rapid aimed movements.,” Psychological Review, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 340–370, Jan. 1988, doi: 10.1037/0033-295x.95.3.340.
  3. G. Kwakkel, “Impact of intensity of practice after stroke: Issues for consideration,” Disability and Rehabilitation, vol. 28, no. 13–14, pp. 823–830, Jan. 2006, doi: 10.1080/09638280500534861.
  4. C. Butler et al., “Effects of neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) for cerebral palsy: an AACPDM evidence report,” Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, vol. 43, no. 11, p. 778, Oct. 2001, doi: 10.1017/s0012162201001414.
  5. K. B. Hindle, T. J. Whitcomb, W. O. Briggs, and J. Hong, “Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): its mechanisms and effects on range of motion and muscular function,” Journal of Human Kinetics, vol. 31, no. 2012, pp. 105–113, Mar. 2012, doi: 10.2478/v10078-012-0011-y.
  6. A. A. Faridah, I. N. Istiqomah, S. Kurnianto, and N. Khovifah, “The Effectiveness of Range of Motion (ROM) on increasing muscle Strength in stroke Patients: Literature review,” Nursing and Health Sciences Journal (NHSJ), vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 137–142, Jun. 2022, doi: 10.53713/nhs.v2i2.118.
  7. P. Krause, J. Szecsi, and A. Straube, “Changes in spastic muscle tone increase in patients with spinal cord injury using functional electrical stimulation and passive leg movements,” Clinical Rehabilitation, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 627–634, Jul. 2008, doi: 10.1177/0269215507084648.
  8. R. R. Heim, “A review of Twentieth-Century drought indices used in the United States,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 83, no. 8, pp. 1149–1166, Aug. 2002, doi: 10.1175/1520-0477-83.8.1149.
  9. C. Beyaert, R. Vasa, and G. E. Frykberg, “Gait post-stroke: Pathophysiology and rehabilitation strategies,” Neurophysiologie Clinique, vol. 45, no. 4–5, pp. 335–355, Nov. 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.neucli.2015.09.005.
  10. J. C. McGrath, “Beyond restoration to transformation: positive outcomes in the rehabilitation of acquired brain injury,” Clinical Rehabilitation, vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 767–775, Nov. 2004, doi: 10.1191/0269215504cr802oa.
  11. D. Zuckerman, J. T. Giacino, and Y. Bodien, “Traumatic brain injury: What is a favorable outcome?,” Journal of Neurotrauma, vol. 39, no. 13–14, pp. 1010–1012, Jul. 2022, doi: 10.1089/neu.2021.0356.
  12. D. I. Katz, M. Polyak, D. Coughlan, M. Nichols, and A. Roche, “Natural history of recovery from brain injury after prolonged disorders of consciousness: outcome of patients admitted to inpatient rehabilitation with 1–4 year follow-up,” in Progress in Brain Research, 2009, pp. 73–88. doi: 10.1016/s0079-6123(09)17707-5.
  13. M. Dr and E. W. C. Chow, “The effect of the Relaxodont brain wave synchronizer on endodontic anxiety: evaluation by galvanic skin resistance, pulse rate, physical reactions, and questionnaire responses.,” PubMed, vol. 40, no. 1–4, pp. 68–76, Jan. 1993, [Online]. Available:
  14. T. Hirsch et al., “A first step toward the operationalization of the learned Non-USe phenomenon: a Delphi study,” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 383–392, Mar. 2021, doi: 10.1177/1545968321999064.
  15. J. Liepert et al., “Motor cortex plasticity during constraint-induced movement therapy in stroke patients,” Neuroscience Letters, vol. 250, no. 1, pp. 5–8, Jun. 1998, doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(98)00386-3.
  16. R. L. Savoy, “History and future directions of human brain mapping and functional neuroimaging,” Acta Psychologica, vol. 107, no. 1–3, pp. 9–42, Apr. 2001, doi: 10.1016/s0001-6918(01)00018-x.
  17. T. Hara, A. Shanmugalingam, A. McIntyre, and A. M. Burhan, “The Effect of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) on Executive Functioning, Attention and Memory in Rehabilitation Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review,” Diagnostics, vol. 11, no. 4, p. 627, Mar. 2021, doi: 10.3390/diagnostics11040627.
  18. R. De Luca et al., “Effects of virtual reality-based training with BTs-Nirvana on functional recovery in stroke patients: preliminary considerations,” International Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 128, no. 9, pp. 791–796, Feb. 2018, doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1403915.
  19. M. Ylvisaker, K. McPherson, N. Kayes, and E. Pellett, “Metaphoric identity mapping: Facilitating goal setting and engagement in rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury,” Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, vol. 18, no. 5–6, pp. 713–741, Nov. 2008, doi: 10.1080/09602010802201832.
  20. L. Oujamaa, I. Relave, J. Froger, D. Mottet, and J. Pélissier, “Rehabilitation of arm function after stroke. Literature review,” Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 269–293, Apr. 2009, doi: 10.1016/
  21. T. Motahar and J. Wiese, “A Review of Personal Informatics Research for People with Motor Disabilities,” Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 1–31, Jul. 2022, doi: 10.1145/3534614.
  22. I. Renshaw, J. Y. Chow, K. Davids, and J. A. Hammond, “A constraints-led perspective to understanding skill acquisition and game play: a basis for integration of motor learning theory and physical education praxis?,” Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 117–137, Apr. 2010, doi: 10.1080/17408980902791586.
  23. K. A. Ericsson and N. Charness, “Expert performance: Its structure and acquisition.,” American Psychologist, vol. 49, no. 8, pp. 725–747, Aug. 1994, doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.49.8.725.
  24. C. Holder, R. Krishnamurthi, and A. Theadom, “Exploring facilitators and barriers to long‐term behavior change following health–wellness coaching for stroke prevention: A qualitative study conducted in Auckland, New Zealand,” Brain and Behavior, vol. 13, no. 1, Dec. 2022, doi: 10.1002/brb3.2671.
  25. N. Thorne, J. J. Honisch, T. Kondo, S. J. Nasuto, and Y. Hayashi, “Temporal structure in haptic signaling under a cooperative task,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 13, Nov. 2019, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00372.
  26. M. Cruice, L. Worrall, L. Hickson, and R. D. Murison, “Finding a focus for quality of life with aphasia: Social and emotional health, and psychological well-being,” Aphasiology, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 333–353, Jan. 2003, doi: 10.1080/02687030244000707.
  27. S. Coote and E. Stokes, “Robot mediated therapy: Attitudes of patients and therapists towards the first prototype of the GENTLE/s system,” Technology and Disability, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 27–34, May 2003, doi: 10.3233/tad-2003-15105.
  28. R. Arulmurugan and H. Anandakumar, “Early Detection of Lung Cancer Using Wavelet Feature Descriptor and Feed Forward Back Propagation Neural Networks Classifier,” Lecture Notes in Computational Vision and Biomechanics, pp. 103–110, 2018, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-71767-8_9.
  29. A. A. Morgan, J. Abdi, M. a. Q. Syed, G. E. Kohen, P. Barlow, and M. P. Vizcaychipi, “Robots in Healthcare: a Scoping Review,” Current Robotics Reports, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 271–280, Oct. 2022, doi: 10.1007/s43154-022-00095-4.
  30. J. Mehrholz, S. Thomas, C. Werner, J. Kügler, M. Pohl, and B. Elsner, “Electromechanical-Assisted training for walking after stroke,” Stroke, vol. 48, no. 8, Aug. 2017, doi: 10.1161/strokeaha.117.018018.
  31. J. Vaughan-Graham, C. Cott, and V. Wright, “The Bobath (NDT) concept in adult neurological rehabilitation: what is the state of the knowledge? A scoping review. Part II: intervention studies perspectives,” Disability and Rehabilitation, vol. 37, no. 21, pp. 1909–1928, Nov. 2014, doi: 10.3109/09638288.2014.987880.
  32. B. Langhammer and B. Lindmark, “Functional Exercise and Physical Fitness Post Stroke: The Importance of Exercise Maintenance for Motor Control and Physical Fitness after Stroke,” Stroke Research and Treatment, vol. 2012, pp. 1–9, Jan. 2012, doi: 10.1155/2012/864835.
  33. S. A. Billinger, P. Boyne, E. Coughenour, K. Dunning, and A. E. Mattlage, “Does Aerobic Exercise and the FITT Principle Fit into StrokeRecovery,” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, vol. 15, no. 2, Dec. 2014, doi: 10.1007/s11910-014-0519-8.
  34. S. Anand et al., “Association of self-reported physical activity with laboratory markers of nutrition and inflammation: The ComprehensiveDialysis Study,” Journal of Renal Nutrition, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 429–437, Nov. 2011, doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2010.09.007.


The authors would like to thank to the reviewers for nice comments on the manuscript.


No funding was received to assist with the preparation of this manuscript.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Availability of data and materials

No data available for above study.

Author information


All authors have equal contribution in the paper and all authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivs is a more restrictive license. It allows you to redistribute the material commercially or non-commercially but the user cannot make any changes whatsoever to the original, i.e. no derivatives of the original work. To view a copy of this license, visit

Cite this article

Workabeba Abebe Taye, “A Review of the Evolution and Advancements of Neurological Physical Therapy”, Journal of Biomedical and Sustainable Healthcare Applications, vol.4, no.1, pp. 063-072, January 2024. doi: 10.53759/0088/JBSHA20240407.


© 2024 Workabeba Abebe Taye. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.