Physiotherapy and Exercise for Parkinson’s

By January 18, 2019 No Comments
Living with Parkinson’s Disease does not need to be a lifelong struggle. If you are experiencing your walking progressive slowing and shuffling or difficulties performing complex tasks or initiating movements, it can feel very debilitating and overwhelming. No matter the age or stage of Parkinson’s!

Don’t let Parkinson’s Disease define you!

Our team at Platinum Physio are dedicated to providing you with the most recent and evidence based treatments for PD and there are options for all, no matter the stage of PD!

Physiotherapy’s role in Parkinson’s Disease Management:

As many of the symptoms of PD are movement related, Physios play a crucial role in its management.

Recent research has highlighted how Physical Activity is effective in reducing some of the symptoms of PD, can slow its progression and actually has a protective effect on the brain!

A combination of the Physio delivered treatments described below, has been shown to have the best outcomes for PD patients! Our experienced Physios will work with you to design an individualised program, incorporating aspects of these treatments, as well as your own goals and any other coexisting conditions you may have! These treatment options include: 

  • Cardiorespiratory Exercise: New research has shown that increasing your exercise levels to at least 2.5 hours/week can help to slow the progression of PD! PD is also characterised by small movements (small steps, gestures, actions), cardio-based exercise (such as boxing, treadmill/hydro walking), has had great results in retraining large movements, not only within a session, but which have been shown to carryover into everyday movements.
  • Optimising Movement: A slow, shuffling gait, difficulty moving from one position to another and a hunched posture are a few more characteristic symptoms of PD. Cueing strategies, like verbal prompts or lines on the floor, have been shown to significantly improve the quality of these movements. Other treatments, involving strength, flexibility and postural reeducation, ensure a strong body, minimising stiffness and optimising posture.
  • Motor Skill Training: For many of us, performing everyday tasks is automatic and something we don’t have to think about. We know that this is often not the case for those living with PD, and performing these everyday tasks which may once have been simple, becomes a challenge. Breaking down these processes and retraining the way we think about doing them, is key to providing our PD patients with the skills they need to perform these activities at home and regain a sense of independence and control.
  • Dual Task Training: Another difficulty for PD patients is completing two things at the one time; for example maintaining a conversation with someone whilst walking. Targeted retraining and practice can significantly improve these tasks and has also been proven to be effective in improving and maintaining cognitive function for people living with PD.
  • Balance and Falls Retraining: The nature of PD, means things like walking speed, being able to initiate movements and freezing when performing a task are all too familiar parts of everyday life. These symptoms of PD, along with an additional impairment in normal balance related functioning, can significantly increases one’s risk of falling. Physiotherapy for PD, also looks at retraining the balance components of everyday tasks, as well as providing education on minimising one’s falls risk and completing a thorough falls and mobility assessment.

We understand that dealing with a condition like PD, can be challenging and overwhelming and it is often difficult to know where to start. The Platinum Physio Team is here to help you get started on your journey to combat PD, so if you or a loved one is living with PD, book in now to see one of our experienced Physios!