Physical Therapy for Parkinson’s Patients
During April, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we are reminded to be aware of the initial symptoms of this illness and to research ways to support affected loved ones. While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, physical therapy can help patients maintain a good quality of life and live as independently as possible. Bon Secours Physical Therapy offers support to Parkinson’s patients who struggle with limb movement, balance, and other symptoms.
About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is an affliction of the nervous system that progressively causes nerve cell damage in the brain and a deficiency of dopamine. A patient with Parkinson’s may first experience hand tremors and difficulty speaking and swallowing before more serious symptoms become known. As the illness progresses, a patient may have trouble controlling body movement and experience issues with balance and walking.
According to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, patients are commonly first diagnosed over the age of 50. However, in some cases – notably with actor Michael J. Fox – symptoms can appear at a younger age. The APDA reports that approximately 90,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and there is evidence to suggest that one’s risk of getting Parkinson’s is higher if there is a family history.
Physical Therapy For Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s patients can receive a specific, non-invasive physical therapy treatment called LSVT® BIG. Developed by Dr. Lorraine Ramig, this program grew from a focused PT treatment for speech therapy. LSVT is designed to be implemented early in the patient’s diagnosis in order to help them adapt to their condition and continue accomplishing daily tasks.
LSVT therapy focuses on improved mobility and flexibility, in particular helping patients with their walking stride. Other daily movements, like dressing and undressing and handling small objects, are also addressed. A typical program may last an hour a day, up to four days a week as the therapist also teaches the patient to self-monitor their condition.
Contact Bon Secours Physical Therapy