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Parkinson Disease Physiotherapy
Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common degenerative brain
disorder affecting adults. (Alzheimer disease being the most common.)
People of all ethnic groups can develop PD, but it occurs less among
African American and Asian populations.
Parkinson disease was first
defined as only a “motor” (movement) disease, but Parkinson research has shown
that it also causes “nonmotor” symptoms (such as lightheadedness when
standing up) in other systems of the body.
People with PD are at risk of
falling and sustaining other injuries due to their movement and balance
Treatment includes a combination of medication and physiotherapy—and in some cases surgery. Our senior physiotherapists often partner with
people with PD and their families to
- manage their symptoms
their fitness levels
- and help them stay as active as possible
What is Parkinson's Disease?
Parkinson disease is related to a loss of nerve cells in the brain
that produce a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine and other brain
chemicals are normally in balance and are important for the control of
- body movements
- thought processes
- decision making
The exact cause of PD is not yet known.
Family history, aging, or
exposure to certain environmental toxins may contribute to the onset of Parkinson's disease. It is a chronic degenerative disease, which means that it gets worse
over time; however, people usually do not die from it.
The severity and symptoms of PD can vary widely.
Some people have the
disease for 20 to 30 years and experience a slower decline in mobility
and thinking over a longer period of time.
Others may experience
difficulty with physical movements and thought processes within 5 to 10
years, as the disease progresses more rapidly.
Signs and Symptoms
Nonmotor symptoms of PD, such as a
- decreased sense of smell
- lightheadedness when first standing up
- can begin many
years before motor (movement) symptoms develop.
Motor symptoms of PD,
which typically include
most often begin at or around age 60. However, early-onset PD can
affect people at a younger age.
The motor symptoms of PD can be very mild at first. A common early
symptom is a tremor in 1 hand, most often when you are at rest. It might
look like you are rolling a pill between your thumb and forefinger.
Tremors also can occur in your legs or jaw when you are at rest. Since
the tremors are most apparent during rest, they usually go away when
moving and typically don't interfere substantially with daily functions.
As the condition progresses, people with Parkinson's disease may notice other motor symptoms, such as:
- Movements that become smaller, possibly resulting in:
- shuffling when walking
- the arms swinging less when walking
- the voice becoming quieter
- Muscle stiffness or rigidity, causing discomfort in the neck, trunk, or shoulders
- Pain due to muscle stiffness
- Postural instability, resulting in poor balance and a greater risk of falling
- Movements that become slower during daily activities such as dressing, showering, or moving in bed
- A feeling of the feet being "frozen" to the floor, making it hard to take a first step, or to turn around when walking
- Stooped posture
- Difficulty speaking at a normal voice level
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty performing tasks that were once easy to do, such as gardening or swinging a tennis racquet or golf club
- Difficulty making facial expressions
- Difficulty holding and releasing urine (bladder urgency and incontinence)
Nonmotor symptoms might include:
- Difficulty paying attention to a task for a long period of time or dividing attention between 2 or more tasks
- Lack of motivation
- Disturbed sleep
How Is It Diagnosed?
There is not one definitive test for PD, and that makes it a little difficult
Typically, a diagnosis is usually made based on a person’s medical
history and a neurological examination. If our senior physiotherapist s
suspects that you have symptoms of PD, you may be referred to a
neurologist for further examination.
A diagnosis of PD may be made if a person is found to have:
- Slowing of motion and
- Tremor when resting, or muscle rigidity
- A significant improvement in symptoms when taking a medication to treat PD
- Initial symptoms on 1 side of the body only
how our senior physiotherapists can help
Because PD affects each person differently, we
will partner with you to manage your specific situation—now and as your
Following a diagnosis of PD, our senior physiotherapists will conduct a
comprehensive evaluation, including tests to examine your
- attention with movement
Based on your test results, we will develop an individualized treatment plan to help you stay
as active and as independent as possible. Your Parkinson physiotherapy program will include
exercises and techniques to combat the symptoms of PD.
Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, your
treatment program may focus on activities and education to help you:
- Improve your fitness level, strength, and flexibility
- Develop more effective strategies to get in and out of bed, chairs, and cars
- Turn over 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
- Improve your ability to climb and descend stairs and curbs
- Perform more than 1 task at a time more efficiently
- Participate in activities that are important to you
Some of the medications designed to manage PD symptoms may have an
immediate positive effect. For example, movement is typically much
easier shortly after you begin taking certain PD medications.
We will know how to time treatments, exercise, and
activity based on both the schedule and the effects of your medications
to get the best results.
Parkinson’s disease can make daily activities seem frustrating and
time-consuming. Our senior physiotherapists will become a partner with you
and your family to help you combat and manage the symptoms of PD.
your condition changes, your physiotherapy treatment program will be adjusted to help
you be as independent and as active as possible.
Some people with PD benefit from using a cane or a walker. We can work with you to determine if any of these
devices may be helpful to you.
If you need physical assistance to help
you with moving in bed or getting out of a chair, we can team with you and your family to develop strategies to
make moving easier and help prevent injury.
In addition, our senior physiotherapists and senior occupational therapists can make suggestions on changes to your home environment to
optimize safe and efficient daily function at home.
If you need, we can also provide house call/home visit physiotherapy for your loved ones too.
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on
- core stability
- flexibility and
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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