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Leigh Gardiner Physiotherapy provides the physiotherapy services at Cape Rehab Team.

Neurophysiotherapy is a patient-centered, patient-specific and goal-based field of physiotherapy that focuses on the treatment of patients who have suffered an adverse neurological event such as a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury. Following a neurological event such as these, physical abilities and functioning are often affected which can have a negative effect on a patient’s level of independence, social integration and quality of life.

Neurophysiotherapy is aimed at assisting patients to optimise their functioning and independence and to encourage return to normal activity. This method of treatment focuses on the patient actively participating in exercises, often with facilitation from the physiotherapist, in order to re-learn the necessary movement patterns, such as in walking.

Patient rehabilitation commences as early as possible after admission to a hospital Intensive Care Unit or ward and may continue throughout the hospital and subacute/rehabilitation stay and into an outpatient setting following discharge home.

A study done in 2008 by Bernhardt, Dewey, et al, found that early rehabilitation (even within the first 24 hours post stroke) is safe and feasible and is linked to earlier mobilization and improved functional outcomes. Patients who are medically monitored and stable are therefore able to start physiotherapy. Our practice treats patients in any phase of their rehabilitation and offers services at Milnerton Mediclinic, Netcare Blaauwberg and Spescare Blouberg.

Following discharge from hospital, patients may continue rehabilitation on an outpatient basis. This is primarily done at our treatment rooms in Sunningdale however we also offer home visit options for patients who are unable to reach our rooms due to transport or mobility issues.

We are passionate about supporting our patients throughout their rehabilitation process and work closely with the other members of the patient’s multi-disciplinary team to ensure the best possible outcomes for each patient.

Treatment focuses on

  • Active patient participation in exercises
  • Handling techniques and facilitation that establish and reinforce optimal movement patterns
  • Progressive practice and reinforcement to ensure consistency and improvement of movement
  • Ongoing treatment to ensure continued application of learnt behaviour in the home environment


My husband had a stroke last year and the physiotherapist came every week to help him with his rehabilitation process. She not only is a highly qualified professional, but above all she is a very kind and caring person who helped him tremendously on his way to recovery.

"I have a spinal cord injury and the physiotherapist from Cape Rehab Team has been my physio from hospital days until now. It occurred in 2016. I have made remarkable progress. Her work ethic and friendly disposition is exceptional. I highly recommend her."

"As a long distance runner my physio needs are regular and normally highly specific. From sorting out various muscular and joint issues to overall body maintenance, I have yet to find a physio with better knowledge, diagnosis capability and treatment expertise than Leigh Gardiner. I cannot recommend her highly enough! "

"In November 2019 I had a small back operation. There were unforeseen complications and I was placed in an induced coma for 18 days. When they brought me out of the coma, I had lost a lot of muscle strength and could not walk or even feed myself. One of the first people I saw was Leigh. Leigh and her team spent a lot of time helping me to walk and to use my arms again. I was very impressed with their professional approach and empathy which made my rehab so much easier. Since then, I have had 3 more back ops and I insisted that Leigh and her team were there to help with the rehab. I highly recommend them for any form of physio and will always be thankful for what they did for me. "

Leigh has always had a keen interest in helping people and was drawn to the field of physiotherapy from her school days. She completed her school required job shadowing hours at a physical rehabilitation centre in Kensington, Johannesburg on the advice of her own sport’s physio. During these five days, Leigh was introduced to the field of neurological rehabilitation and her interest and passion were flared.

Leigh went on to study a BSc Physiotherapy (Hons) degree and qualified as a physiotherapist from Wits University in 2012, graduating top of her class. Following her qualification, she completed her community service at Edenvale Hospital in Johannesburg where she worked in the rehabilitation sector for two thirds of the year. The following year she began working at a neuro physiotherapy practice in Johannesburg that assisted patients from the acute to chronic stages of their rehabilitation processes.

Leigh completed her Basic Bobath (NDT) course in 2015 and an Advanced NDT course focusing on postural control for neurologically impaired patients in 2020. She has done multiple shorter courses ranging through soft tissue and strengthening techniques, management of vestibular conditions and dizziness and aquatic therapy. Leigh’s fields of interest include rehabilitation following spinal cord injury, stroke, brain injury and the management of progressive conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis. She is passionate about her work and loves to see her patients progress and achieve their goals. Leigh chose to leave Johannesburg and move to Cape Town to open her own practice in February 2016 and currently works predominantly along the West Coast area of Cape Town.


Treatment Options for Stroke Physiotherapy

Introduction In Neurological Rehabilitation, a variety of treatment methods and approaches from various philosophical perspectives are used. The research to support the various methods differs greatly, with...