Guillain-Barré Syndrome

GBS is a disease that causes inflammation of the peripheral nerves. (These are the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord). This causes weakness in muscles throughout the body. The cause is unknown but it is often preceded by an infection of some kind. It can affect the arms, legs, body and the ability to breathe properly. Recovery can take between 2 weeks and 2 years. Around 80% of people make a complete recovery, however some are left with some residual weakness. Treatment normally starts in hospital and should continue until you reach your maximum potential. Physiotherapy can help strengthen weak muscles, stretch and mobilise stiff joints and ensure you are pushed to achieve your goals. Hydrotherapy is often used to good effect during the rehabilitation process. If weakness does persist it is commonly around the ankles. A dynamic Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO) can provide stability but also allow flexibility for the younger, more active patient.

For more information see:
Guillain Barre & Associated Inflammatory Neuropathies  www.gaincharity.org.uk
GBS /CIDP Foundation International  www.gbs-cidp.org
www.nhs.uk/conditions/Guillain-Barre-syndrome