What is Parkinson’s disease?
It is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movements which is often acquired by the older population. Progressive meaning that initially symptoms can range from none to minimal tremor. Then gradually worsens and it may associate with stiffness and slow movements. Currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, evidence shows that physiotherapy and some medication can reduce the effect.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
Tremor: Minimal to moderate shaking of a limb. Usually starts from the hand and fingers.
Slowed movements: Shorter step length, slower movement during everyday activity tasks, dragging your feet when you walk.
Speech changes: Slurred speech or speaking very softly and slowly
Balance impairment: Parkinson’s patients usually have the most problem with balance. They may have recurrent falls more easily compared to normal populations.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy plays a big role in Parkinson’s patients. We are professionals that specialise in movements. Physiotherapists will prescribe appropriate exercises for patients in order to restore their function and improve them to the point where they can perform daily tasks more easily.
Balance exercises: The aim is to reduce recurrent falls which occurs very often amongst Parkinson’s patients.
Strengthening exercises: To improve strength of upper and lower limbs so they can perform tasks easier. Practicing big movements: It is important to perform exercises with big movements. This is because Parkinson’s patients tend to become progressively slow. Therefore maintaining big movement patterns is essential.
Take home message:
Parkinson’s Disease cannot be overlooked and physiotherapy is aimed to assist with slowing down the disease and to maintain the person’s function for as long as possible.
This information can be used to gain a better understanding of parkinsons disease. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.