Parkinson’s Disease and Physiotherapy
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neuro-degenerative condition that can result in the loss of smooth and controlled movement of muscles and joints, as well as affecting posture, balance, general mobility and confidence. This can result in progressive decline of mobility and function. The treatment primarily revolves around the use of medication. Recent evidence suggests that Physiotherapy can help with symptoms, mobility and maintaining quality of life.
Physiotherapy management of Parkinson’s Disease centres around following:
Exercises: An exercise plan tailored around your needs can help immensely in maintaining function. Evidence suggests that increasing exercises to 2.5 hours a week can slow down the progression of Parkinsonian symptoms. A Physiotherapist can advise and plan the exercises according to your abilities and deficiencies.
Maintaining Range of motion in joints and muscle strength: Rigidity and stiffness are common symptoms of Parkins Disease. A Physiotherapist can provide relevant exercises to minimize deterioration in muscle strength and flexibility to reduce stiffness thus, making it easy to move.
Mobility: Freezing episodes during walking can massively reduce mobility and increase the risk of falls. Physiotherapist can provide gait training and progression helps in restoring mobility and confidence. Physiotherapist can also prescribe appropriate aids and teach coping strategies
Balance retraining: Parkinson’s disease affects dynamic balance and stability. Physiotherapy is known to improve balance, reducing risk of falls and improving safety
Fatigue management: Low stamina is common in Parkinson’s disease which can affect mood. Exercise can also help you manage stress and fatigue and boost your mood. It can help you sleep well too.
Activities of daily living: In later stages, Parkinson’s can result in loss of function. Structured rehabilitation plan by a qualified Physiotherapist can help in developing strategies to compensate for loss of function therefore, improving everyday activities like getting in and out of bed, chair, stairs etc
Postural control: The posture starts getting compromised as a result of Parskinson’s disease. Exercises to strengthen postural extensors and functional task training help in posture corrections
Carer Education: To educate the carers and family members about techniques providing appropriate support to the patients