Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)

What is Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)

Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a medical condition in which there is a problem with how the nervous system functions and also how the brain and body sends and/or receives signals. FND can encompass a wide variety of neurological symptoms, such as limb weakness or seizures. While the symptoms may appear similar to those seen in other neurological disorders, and can be just as debilitating, in FND the symptoms are not caused by structural disease of the nervous system.

Conventional tests such as MRI brain scans and EEGs are usually ‘normal’ in patients with FND and this has therefore led, historically, to the condition being relatively neglected by both clinicians and researchers. However, it is now established that FND is a common cause of disability and a lot more research is now taking place surrounding this condition. Modern studies, have shown that FND is not just a diagnosis that you come to by excluding everything else; instead studies have shown that it has specific clinical features of it’s own and is a disorder of how the nervous system functions.

Signs and Symptoms:

Movement and Motor (Functional Movement Disorders)

- Tremor

- Functional Dystonia – involuntary and often painful muscle spasms.

- Functional Myoclonus – sudden involuntary movements such as jerks and twitches

- Gait difficulties- problems with walking

- Limb weakness

- Paralysis- an inability to move any part of your body

- Seizures – non-epileptic seizures


- Altered sensation or numbness throughout the body

- Hypersensitivity- being very sensitive to light, sound, smell, taste or touch

- Dizziness


- Short term memory difficulties

- Poor concentration

- Word finding difficulties

- Difficulties with speech

- Increased anxiety

- Lack of confidence/self-esteem

It is important to note that every patient with FND presents differently and that the signs and symptoms can vary

Treating FND:

Here at TherapyMatters we have a lot of experience of treating patients who have been diagnosed with FND and we aim to work with you to get the best out of your recovery, and help you to achieve any of your functional goals. All our physiotherapists are experienced and skilled at working with people with this condition and we always work towards your recovery, aiming for the best outcomes for you.

More research and evidence is now supporting that therapy can be the most effective treatment option for those who have movement or motor symptoms such as weakness, paralysis and walking difficulties. Physiotherapy for FND focuses on regaining normal function and promotes ‘automatic movements’. Therapy aims to reduce the abnormal movement patterns that have been interfering with your overall function.

Get in touch with us if you want to discuss this further and if you want to book an assessment appointment and start to work with us for your recovery.