The National Parkinson’s Foundation defines Parkinson’s disease (PD) as a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. The presence of dopamine is critical for controlling our movements. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years and the cause remains largely unknown. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. People with PD may experience: tremor, bradykinesia (slowed movement), limb rigidity, and/or gait and balance problems.
How can physical therapy help?
Physical therapy, and physical activity, have been shown to be very helpful interventions to improve function in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Our providers will perform a comprehensive examination to determine your specific rehab needs. Treatment generally focuses on increasing movement, safety, balance, independence with activities, transfers. Our team will focus on improving range of motion, strength, stamina, safety with transfers from low surfaces, posture, and movement. Many of our providers have undergone training with the Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery organization. This treatment methodology has been shown by research to reduce symptoms, restore function, and improve quality of life, with promise to slow disease progression.