Lyme disease

Lyme disease, also known as borreliosis, is a dangerous pathological process of infectious genesis. The disease develops due to the penetration into the human body of a particular pathogen – the Borrelia spirochete, which occurs with the bite of an ixodid tick.

The pathological process is prone to a chronic course and has various variants. The latter include severe fever, neuritis, myalgia, meningitis, myocarditis, etc. In virtually every case, Lyme disease is accompanied by dermatological erythematous lesions and a wide range of systemic clinical signs.

It is systemic lesions that pose the greatest threat to the patient. Borreliosis can cause complications in which severe damage to the joints, nervous system, and heart occurs. Based on this, in medical practice, there are three stages of disease progression:

  • Local – this is an early stage in which only an erythematous lesion of the skin is seen;
  • disseminating – at this stage, persistent fever and the development of neurotic, cardiac, and meningeal complications are possible;
  • persistent – the progression of the disease to the last stage often means the patient’s disability, the chronic course of arthritis, atrophic acrodermatitis, etc.

Due to the risks of developing severe forms of the disease and its development to advanced stages, treatment should start as early as possible. But even in such cases, most patients require rehabilitation, especially in the event of neurological disorders and lesions of the musculoskeletal system.

Causes of Lyme Disease

The leading cause of the development of Lyme disease is the penetration into the human body of the gram-negative spirochete Borrelia. Infection is transmissible, that is, through the bite of ticks belonging to the genus Ixodes.

The mites mentioned above are capable of parasitizing domestic and wild animals. For this reason, the alimentary route of infection is also possible, for example, when drinking cow’s milk that has not been subjected to heat treatment.

After an ixodid bite, the infection quickly spreads throughout the body, accompanied by a cascade of immunopathological reactions. First, the central nervous system, joints, and heart are affected.


Methods of treating Lyme disease depend on the specifics of the course of the disease and the stage of progression. The primary and only direction of treatment is conservative therapy, which is divided into several components:

  • In the treatment of early stages of the pathological process, antibacterial drugs of the tetracycline series and symptomatic treatment are used;
  • in the case of starting treatment at stages 2-3 of the progression of the disease, massive antibiotic therapy with drugs of the penicillin or cephalosporin groups is prescribed for 3-4 weeks, and simultaneous symptomatic treatment;
  • individual therapeutic measures are carried out individually, depending on the specifics of complications. For example, if the musculoskeletal system is affected, NSAIDs are prescribed, if meningitis develops, dehydration therapy is required, etc.

Rehabilitation of patients with Lyme disease

Because of the high risk of complications, patients with borreliosis require full rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs are aimed at eliminating motor and neurological disorders, maintaining the functioning of the cardiovascular system, etc.

In Kliniken Schmieder, a rehabilitation program is developed individually for each patient with Lyme disease. Rehabilitation practices always consider the specifics of complications and the characteristics of the patient’s body. Thanks to this, the doctors can concentrate on solving specific priority problems in this clinical case.

Rehabilitation programs in this case include:

  • Restoration of motor disorders – depending on the characteristics of the clinical case, patients require the rehabilitation of fine motor skills and correction of hyperdynamic in general. Physiotherapy exercises are used, and training programs and specific exercises are determined individually. Also, restoring the motor sphere involves sports-applied games, exercises for coordination of movements, general strengthening strength exercises, etc.
  • Physiotherapy rehabilitation is an important aspect of recovery for patients facing chronic arthritis and a wide range of neurological disorders. As part of physiotherapy, massage and manual therapy techniques are used, and kinesiotherapy and bobat therapy demonstrate high efficiency. Also, rehabilitation programs for patients with borreliosis include hardware physiotherapy, electrophoresis, magneto-, laser therapy, electrical stimulation, etc. In combination, such techniques allow both to cope with motor disorders and have a beneficial effect on restoring CNS structures.
  • Adjunctive drug therapy is often required to reverse the effects of Lyme disease and the patient’s overall health. For example, drugs are prescribed to correct the work of the heart or stimulate the processes of blood supply to the brain.
  • Psychological rehabilitation is another important aspect because most patients who face serious illnesses lose faith in themselves. Regular psychotherapy sessions with experienced psychologists and psychotherapists can reduce the traumatic effect on the psyche. The therapy lets the patient control his emotions, avoid depression, and adapt and socialize faster.

These and other areas of rehabilitation of patients with Lyme disease pursue a global goal – the complete recovery of the patient (or the maximum possible) and improving the quality of his life.