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HomeConditionsConversion Disorder


Conversion Disorder

Conversion disorder is a condition in which an individual experiences physical symptoms such as muscle weakness, altered sensation, or the loss of sight, all of which cannot be medically explained. Conversion disorder is believed to be a type of psychiatric disorder, in which psychological stress is transformed into physical symptoms.



What is conversion disorder?

Conversion disorder is a condition in which psychological stress is transformed into physical symptoms. Often a stressful event, an emotional conflict, or a mental health disorder such as depression, results in the presentation of symptoms associated with conversion disorder. In response to such traumatic events the body reacts by converting the psychological crisis into physical problems. In conversion disorder an example of this would be having a traumatic fall from a horse but sustaining no injury. In a case of conversion disorder, although you are physically uninjured you may perceive your leg to be paralysed and therefore experience physical paralysis in that leg. The exact medical cause of conversion disorder is currently unknown.

At Liverpool Neuro Physio our physiotherapists understand that conversion disorder can have a dramatic impact on your life and it can make even the simplest of tasks difficult to complete. Therefore, our physiotherapists can provide you with the support and reassurance you need in order to improve your quality of life and to help you to overcome the physical symptoms of your conversion disorder.


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Effects of conversion disorder

The symptoms associated with conversion disorder have no underlying physical cause and they cannot be controlled. Conversion disorder characteristically affects your motor function, such as general movement, or your sensory function, such as your ability to see or hear. For some people the effects of conversion disorder can be severe. However for the majority of people symptoms of conversion disorder lessen and resolve themselves completely within a couple of weeks. Conversion disorder will present differently in each person, however physiotherapy can be essential in addressing the motor effects of conversion disorder, including:



If you suffer from conversion disorder then physiotherapy can be a useful intervention to help you manage the physical symptoms you experience as a result of your conversion disorder. Physiotherapy can also be used to help prevent or manage any secondary complications you experience as a result of your conversion disorder such as muscle weakness and stiffness that may occur as a result of inactivity.


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Physiotherapy treatment for conversion disorder

Although there is no identifiable physical cause of the symptoms you present with as a result of conversion disorder, physiotherapy treatment can still be helpful in the management of such symptoms. Individuals who suffer from conversion disorder usually develop secondary complications such as muscle weakness and joint stiffness as a result of inactivity. These secondary complications can make it very difficult to carry out normal activities of daily living, so it is important that they are addressed by physiotherapy intervention.

At Liverpool Neuro Physio our specialist neurological physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment of your problems and devise an individual treatment programme in collaboration with you and your family. Your physiotherapist will create a programme of treatment which best suits your abilities and one which is specific to your effects experienced as a result of conversion disorder. At Liverpool Neuro Physio, your physiotherapist will also set you goals for treatment which will be reviewed regularly to chart your progress. Although physiotherapy treatment for conversion disorder differs from person to person it often includes:



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Benefits of physiotherapy treatment for conversion disorder

At Liverpool Neuro Physio the aim of our team of experienced physiotherapists is to provide you with the highest quality of care in order to allow you to get the most out of your treatment. Our experienced physiotherapists understand that conversion disorder can have a detrimental impact upon your life and the life of your friends and family. Therefore our physiotherapists aim to efficiently alleviate your symptoms of conversion disorder as soon as possible. Successful management of your conversion disorder may result in the following benefits:



The role of your physiotherapist in the treatment of conversion disorder is to re-establish normal patterns of movement. At Liverpool Neuro Physio your physiotherapist can gently lead you to recovery, allowing you to return to your social, physical, and work life as well as re-establishing your independent mobility and your independent living.



To arrange an appointment or to speak to one of our specialists, call us on 0151 558 0188 or email office@liverpoolneurophysio.co.uk.


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