How can Physical Therapy Help Parkinson's Disease?
As Parkinson's Disease progresses, patients may begin to experience a degeneration of fine motor skills, including difficulty with posture, walking, and balance. When untreated, PD can cause consistent discomfort and fatigue, body weakness, make daily tasks more difficult to complete, and prevent you from fully enjoying your life. However, there are many options out there that help slow it's progression and ease its daily symptoms.
One such option is to start going to physical therapy that is designed explicitly for PD. Physical therapy is used to treat PD symptoms and has been proven beneficial for those who have been diagnosed, and it offers many positive results that aid in quality of life.
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Parkinson's Disease
Here are some ways that getting physical therapy for PD can improve your quality of life:
Balance work - Individuals with PD can struggle with balance issues. A physical therapist will offer a variety of balance improvement exercises that help strengthen the muscles, build muscle memory in the brain, and teach you ways to compensate for any loss of motor function.
Flexibility work - It is prevalent for those with PD to develop tight hip flexors, hamstring stiffness, and tight calf muscles. Tight muscles can make already difficult tasks for those with PD even more of a challenge for the body to perform. This is mainly due to the body not being able to move the same way it used to and compensating for painful or weakened areas. Physical therapists will work with you to gently stretch muscles throughout the body and give you easy stretches to do at home to remain loose and limber.
Muscle Strength work - Muscles naturally weaken with age, but even more so in someone with PD. Strength training is vital to slow the progression of PD as well as give your body more stability to perform everyday tasks. A physical therapist will provide you with exercises that integrate light weights or resistance bands to gently strengthen the muscles.
Compensatory Work - Physical therapy offers something called "compensatory treatments," which are designed to teach your brain and body new movement techniques and strategies for how to move your safely and comfortably. One of our skilled physical therapists will work with you and give you exercises to perform at home that will strengthen and stretch your muscles, bringing more ease into your everyday movements.
The Goal of Physical Therapy
The goal of physical therapy, specifically for PD, is to improve your independence and quality of life. While it will not be a magic cure-all, physical therapy can significantly reduce symptoms, slow the disease's progression, lessen aches and pains, and bring back your freedom. Call Horizon Rehabilitation today to learn more about the state-of-the-art PD therapy options we offer and let us help you regain your independence.