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Parkinson's Disease & Other Movement Disorders

Physiotherapy for Parkinson's & Other Movement Disorders

Physical therapy and exercise are integral components of the management and treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). They play a crucial role in improving mobility, flexibility, balance, and overall quality of life for individuals with PD.

Here are some ways in which physical therapy and exercise benefit those with Parkinson's:

Improving Mobility and Balance: Specific exercises and physical therapy interventions focus on improving gait, balance, and coordination, addressing the motor symptoms commonly associated with PD. These can include walking exercises, balance training, and activities to enhance coordination.

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Enhancing Flexibility and Range of Motion: Stretching exercises and techniques can help reduce muscle stiffness and improve flexibility, allowing for better movement and reducing the risk of falls.

Strength Training: Targeted strength training exercises can help individuals with PD improve muscle strength, particularly in the legs and core, aiding in better mobility and stability.

Functional Activities: Physical therapists often incorporate functional activities that simulate daily tasks into the exercise routine. This helps individuals maintain or improve their ability to perform activities of daily living.

Gait Training: Gait disturbances are common in PD. Physical therapists work on gait training to improve walking patterns, stride length, and balance during walking.

Cueing Strategies: Therapists might use external cues such as rhythmic auditory stimulation or visual cues to help individuals initiate and maintain movements more effectively.

Adaptation and Education: Physical therapists educate both individuals with PD and their caregivers about strategies to manage symptoms, optimize movement, and prevent falls in daily life.

Exercise Programs: Aerobic exercises, such as cycling, swimming, or dancing, have shown positive effects on motor symptoms and overall well-being in individuals with PD.

Regular exercise and participation in physical therapy programs tailored to individual needs and capabilities are crucial for managing PD symptoms. The intensity, duration, and type of exercise should be personalized and supervised by healthcare professionals experienced in Parkinson's management to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Consistency in physical therapy and exercise routines is key. They not only help manage symptoms but can also potentially slow the progression of the disease and improve the individual's overall quality of life.

  • Treadmill training with or without body weight support to improve walking in PD at all levels.

  • Training in Nordic Pole walking techniques to facilitate improved posture and gait.

  • Online small group training for brain health, balance, and walking.

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