Taking Control of Your Parkinson's Disease

How Physical Therapy Can Help


By Dr. Rachel Thomson, PT, DPT


Do you have Parkinson’s Disease? Do you have tremors in your hands or legs? Do you have stiff muscles that make it difficult for you to stand or walk?


We can help!


Research has demonstrated the importance of exercise to help slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), especially when performed at a high intensity. Exercise has also been shown to improve movement, balance, coordination, and cognitive ability. At California Therapy Solutions, our physical therapists are trained to help target the symptoms of PD that physically limit the ability to safely move about the home and community. Our physical therapists have the best education and knowledge to care for patients with PD.


Common symptoms addressed in physical therapy include bradykinesia (slowness and smallness of movement), rigidity, and coordination. Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!) Moves can help target these main symptoms with four simple and functional exercises. These moves can be performed in many positions in order to accommodate one’s ability to move.


At CTS, we offer evaluations to determine treatment options, personalized treatment plans, and specific classes to improve mobility and to help you complete daily activities with greater ease.


First, we offer evaluations to determine treatment options. Our evaluation helps us understand your symptoms and history with Parkinson’s Disease. We assess your current management of care, previous therapies received, and your goals (including your family’s/caregiver’s goals) for physical therapy. We also determine your fall risk, reactive balance, dual tasking ability, gait adaptability, and static balance. At CTS, we feel that it is important to observe your strength and other Parkinson’s specific symptoms, such as tremoring, freezing, or festinating when walking, so that we can find the best treatment that fits your individual needs.


From our evaluation, each patient receives an individualized plan to address the challenges in the movement. We have four therapists who are certified in PWR! Moves, so we can incorporate PWR! Moves into your home exercise program to help supplement your clinic program. This is designed to challenge you further with skilled supervision and guidance. PWR! Moves will specifically address posture, weight shifting, trunk rotation, and transitioning via stepping - all of which help perform transfers, walking, bed mobility, and community navigation- i.e. stairs and uneven surfaces.


PWR! Moves specific classes are also a great way to supplement physical therapy. We are hoping to have our PWR! Moves class up and running at our Laguna Woods location soon. Stay tuned for more information. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have further questions.



References:


Parkinson Wellness Recovery | PWR! – Implementing research-based Parkinson specific exercise programs. PWR!Moves GET BETTER and STAY BETTER with Exercise. (pwr4life.org)

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