Your Parkinson’s Dynamic Duo

How Neu­rol­o­gy & Phys­i­cal Ther­a­py work togeth­er to treat Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s dis­ease is a pro­gres­sive neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease that affects your body’s abil­i­ty to move. This con­di­tion can make per­form­ing sim­ple dai­ly tasks such as walk­ing, get­ting up from a chair or mov­ing in bed more dif­fi­cult, as move­ments become small­er and slow­er. In the U.S. alone, there are more than one mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing with Parkinson’s.

Cur­rent­ly, there is no known cause or cure for Parkinson’s dis­ease. There are sev­er­al dif­fer­ent med­ical and exer­cise based treat­ments options that can help you con­trol and man­age your symptoms. 

Some of the most com­mon symp­toms asso­ci­at­ed with Parkinson’s dis­ease include:

  • Walk­ing dif­fi­cul­ty and bal­ance issues 
  • Poor pos­ture
  • Shuf­fling of the feet with walking 
  • Stiff­ness in the arms or legs — a cog­wheel rigidity
  • The feel­ing of being stuck or freez­ing” when walking 
  • Dif­fi­cul­ty per­form­ing dai­ly tasks such as writ­ing is small­er and get­ting up from a chair can be difficult
  • Rest­ing tremors in hands- a pill-rolling tremor
  • Weak­ness in voice — hard to hear 

Depend­ing on the sever­i­ty of your symp­toms, your neu­rol­o­gist may rec­om­mend med­ica­tion in addi­tion to phys­i­cal, occu­pa­tion­al and speech ther­a­py to help with motor symp­toms. Your neu­rol­o­gist and phys­i­cal ther­a­pist will work in col­lab­o­ra­tion to ensure seam­less con­ti­nu­ity of care. Their com­mu­ni­ca­tion through­out your care will help you to improve func­tion and qual­i­ty of life.

If your health­care provider rec­om­mends neu­ro­log­i­cal phys­i­cal ther­a­py, you will work with a ther­a­pist who spe­cial­izes in the eval­u­a­tion and treat­ment of move­ment dis­or­ders due to dis­ease or injury of the ner­vous sys­tem. He or she is also trained to pro­vide effec­tive and goal-spe­cif­ic ther­a­peu­tic treat­ment. This treat­ment may include edu­ca­tion on how to man­age your symp­toms, assis­tive device train­ing, evi­denced-based high ampli­tude train­ing (LSVT BIG®), prac­tic­ing tasks such as bed mobil­i­ty and turn­ing, as well as work­ing to improve your walk­ing and bal­ance confidence.

When you first meet your phys­i­cal ther­a­pist, he or she will ask you to com­plete a ques­tion­naire that pro­vides an overview of your cur­rent symp­toms. This may be used to build a cus­tomized treat­ment plan to meet your indi­vid­ual needs and goals. 

Your phys­i­cal ther­a­pist will then per­form a phys­i­cal eval­u­a­tion to assess your cur­rent capa­bil­i­ties includ­ing strength, flex­i­bil­i­ty, coor­di­na­tion, sen­sa­tion, pos­ture, walk­ing abil­i­ty and bal­ance to deter­mine the impact your cur­rent phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions are hav­ing on your dai­ly life. 

Phys­i­cal ther­a­py can also help you:

  • Reduce your risk for falls
  • Improve mobil­i­ty and posture
  • Improve con­fi­dence in walking
  • Improve bal­ance
  • Reduce stiff­ness and pain
  • Increase strength

Stud­ies have shown that phys­i­cal and occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­py inter­ven­tion, along with reg­u­lar exer­cise, can help slow or stop the pro­gres­sion of symp­toms asso­ci­at­ed with Parkinson’s dis­ease and improve your over­all qual­i­ty of life. 

For addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on Parkinson’s dis­ease or to sched­ule an appoint­ment with a neu­rol­o­gist or phys­i­cal therapist, please sched­ule online or by call­ing your pre­ferred loca­tion.

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  • I am excited to work with patients and their families to help restore individuals to a state of health while handling the chronic and acute neurological issues that arise. I believe in a team approach as together we can accomplish great things.