Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be very frustrating for patients as it severely hampers motor skills. Patients are forced to move slowly and the ‘automated’ involuntary responses seem to go awry, missing the mark most of the time. Parkinson’s patients can easily go from struggling with moving around their homes to taking charge of activities like driving and shopping with the help of physical therapy. Physical therapy can not only relieve patients of physical symptoms such as stiffness, pain, weakness, balance and depth perception but also fosters confidence to reclaim their lives.
Why exercising is important?
It is common for PD patients at early and moderate stage to completely give up exercising as it is painful to move muscles and joints which also worsens with lack of exercise. Thus PD patients are stuck in a vicious circle which can only be broken with exercise. PD makes it difficult for patients to perform complex motor programs and your exercising efforts should be built around it. The loss of ‘Automatic’ response can be countered with exercises that demand attention, repetition, progression of difficulty and promote learning. Exercising will also reduce stiffness in muscles and joints while improving mobility, posture, balance and gait.
How physical therapy/exercise therapy will help?
PD symptoms get worse with time but physical therapy can help you manage them, compensating for the changes brought to your life by this horrible disease. Your physiotherapist/exercise therapist will aim at exercises which will develop your ability to handle day-to-day chores and activities. Physical therapy/exercise therapy exercises will help with balance problems, lack of coordination, fatigue, pain, gait, posture, immobility, and weakness.
What exercises are involved?
Your physiotherapy/exercise therapy plan will involve a good mix of exercise which are learning-based, promotes posture and biomechanics, increases strength and flexibility and stimulates cognitive abilities in patients.
Don’t let Parkinson’s disease bog you down. Join a physical therapy program and watch your quality of life improve day by day!