The Bobath Concept

The Bobath Concept is the treatment approach used by most neurological physiotherapists in the UK.  It originated from the work of Berta Bobath a physiotherapist and her husband Karel Bobath, who was a neurologist and psychiatrist after they came to England from Germany in the 1930s.  Berta Bobath’s ideas showed that movement could improve on the damaged side after Stroke and that the body functioned as a whole.   She found, for example, that treating the arm could improve walking and balance.

 

The Bobath Concept is a problem solving approach to the assessment and treatment of individuals with neurological problems and is based on specialist knowledge of how the brain repairs itself, skills in functional movement analysis as well as specialist handling skills of the physiotherapist.   It focuses on improving the quality of movement in order to maximise a person’s ability to do day-to-day activities. It helps to teach people to move in the most efficient way possible so that they can conserve energy and move more easily.  The concept views the person holistically taking account of cognitive, emotional and behavioural factors as well as the physical.  
Bobath therapists use specialised handling skills to facilitate normal movement patterns until independent control of the body is achieved.  They adapt the treatment environment to help people achive successful movement or reduce the physical demands of a task.  They help people to access movement by becoming more aware of how they move.

 

There are three levels of training:
•    Introductory modules
•    A three week Basic Course
•    Week long advanced courses (which can only be taken after the basic course)

 

Only on completion of all these levels can a physiotherapist consider themselves 'Bobath Trained'.  I have completed all three levels of training and have applied the skills in my practice for a number of years.