Parkinson's disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.
The four primary symptoms of PD are:
- Tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face;
- Rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk;
- Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and
- Postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination.
As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks.
PD usually affects people over the age of 60.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Parkinson’s Disease affects each patient a little different. Therefore, your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation of your condition.
- Improve your fitness level, strength, and flexibility
- Develop more effective strategies to get in and out of bed, chairs, and cars
- Rollover in bed more easily
- Stand and turn to change directions more efficiently
- Improve the smoothness and coordination of your walking
- Improve your ability to perform hand movements
- Decrease your risk of falling
- Climb and descend stairs and curbs
- Participate in activities that are important to you
We then develop a personalized treatment plan to help you become as independent as possible and to improve your activity level. Your treatment may address some of these common limitations:
Neisha Wetzel, PT
Neisha Wetzel, PT, DPT, is a board-certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatrics from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She is also certified in LSVT BIG® for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.