What is Parkinson's Disease?
Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease which affects older adults. PD is a movement disorder which occurs when the nerve cells in the brain do not make dopamine, a brain chemical that affects body movement, thought process, mood, and decision making. PD can develop from an exposure to environmental toxins, a combination of genes, or lifestyle influences. Other factors which may affect your chance of developing PD includes sex, men are more likely to develop PD and age, people typically do not develop PD until around age 60 or older.
What are the main types of Parkinsonism?
There are 3 main forms of parkinsonism, as well as other related conditions.
Most people with parkinsonism have idiopathic Parkinson’s, also known as Parkinson’s Disease. Idiopathic means the cause is unknown.
The most common symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson’s are tremor, rigidity and slowness (paucity) of movement.
Vascular parkinsonism (also known as arteriosclerotic parkinsonism) affects people with restricted blood supply to the brain. Sometimes people who have had a mild stroke may develop this form of parkinsonism.
Common symptoms include problems with memory, sleep, mood and movement.
Some drugs can cause parkinsonism.
Neuroleptic drugs (used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders), which block the action of the chemical dopamine in the brain, are thought to be the biggest cause of drug-induced parkinsonism.
The symptoms of drug-induced parkinsonism tend to stay the same – only in rare cases do they progress in the way that Parkinson’s symptoms do.
Drug-induced parkinsonism only affects a small number of people, and most will recover within months – and often within days or weeks – of stopping the drug that’s causing it.
How Can Physical Therapy Help Patients With Parkinson's Disease?
Physical therapy for Parkinson's Disease and Parkinsonism will begin with a comprehensive balance, gait, and postural assessment. FYZICAL follows the Parkinson's rehabilitation method, LSVT Big & Loud program, which will assist patients with maintaining their strength and speech. The LSVT Big portion of the therapy trains patients on how to keep active and continue using their body normally. Another part of the treatment will be balance training and education, which assists our patients with minimizing their risk of falling. Physical Therapy for Parkinsonism utilizes Neuroplasticity and the parts of your brain that are not effected by Parkinsonism to compensate for impairments. There are may strategies and exercises that are benefician for preventing the progression of Parkinson's Disease and for maintaining overall strength, balance, flexibility and gait quality.
Partaking in physical therapy will help you learn new exercises, move better, and get back to Loving Your Life again! At FYZICAL in North Andover, we take an aggressive rehabilitative approach to managing Parkinson's and preventing the progression of the disease's motor symptoms. Many of our patients with Parkinson's Disease attend skilled Physical Therapy on a regular basis either weekly or via check-ins in order to ensure they are maintaining their maximal level of function and quality of life.
Contact FYZICAL North Andover today to start your Physical Therapy journey!