Do You Have Parkinson’s Disease? There’s Hope, Physical Therapy Can Help.
Receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be devastating not only for the person receiving it, but also for that person’s family and friends. The first thing many people do is run to the internet to research PD and figure out what it entails. There is an overwhelming amount of information available, but I have to imagine people will get stuck on a couple words associated with the diagnosis. These words are “progressive” and “neurodegenerative”. I can’t even imagine the sinking feeling that one must feel when reading those words. The good news is that there are interventions available to individuals with PD at any stage of the disease.
Ideally, as soon as someone receives a diagnosis of PD, along with any medication prescriptions, they are given a prescription to see a physical therapist. A physical therapist develops an exercise program that fits the specific needs of the patient, regardless of where they are in the disease process. This is especially important because people with PD progress differently. One person may have balance problems, another might feel weak, and another might have freezing while walking. The good news is that a physical therapist can help, plain and simple.
A Treatment Program Designed Specifically For You
For those individuals just diagnosed, a physical therapist will help you adopt a physically active lifestyle that pushes the exercise intensity appropriately. For those individuals in the middle of the disease course, a physical therapist might work specifically on balance and walking training in an effort to prevent or reduce falls and reduce freezing and/or shuffling during walking. The physical therapist will also develop an exercise program that you can perform safely at home. For individuals later in the disease process, the physical therapist will evaluate for the need for an assistive device (i.e. walker, wheelchair) and will again provide a customized exercise program. At this stage, physical therapists will also work with caregivers to help them assist their loved one when walking or getting in or out of bed.
If you or someone you love has Parkinson's Disease, please give our office a call. We can talk with you more about the options for physical at The Smith Clinic for Physical Therapy. You can reach us at 901-756-1650.