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Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) occurs when brain cells that produce dopamine (a chemical involved in coordinating movement) slow or die. PD is considered a neurological movement disorder because it can cause tremors, slowness, stiffness, and balance difficulties. However, PD can present non-movement symptoms such as depression, constipation, and memory issues. Living with Parkinson’s is a unique experience for each person, and treatments vary from individual to individual.

Clients with Parkinson’s Disease can benefit greatly from physiotherapy. Current research shows that doing regular exercises specifically designed for people living with Parkinson’s Disease helps to maintain function and may contribute to slowing the progression of the disease. Initiation of therapy early after diagnosis is associated with better results, but people living with Parkinson’s can show improvement in function even in later years – so it is never too late to consult a physiotherapist.  Exercises have been shown to improve mobility and balance, and optimize functionality.  The best advice we can give is to start your specifically prescribed exercises early and keep at it.

Action Potential Rehabilitation is pleased to offer MOVE! Parkinson’s Specific Exercise Group at our clinic. Patients work in groups of two under the supervison of a physiotherapist and rehabilitation assistant. Please contact us at 613-680-6400 or at [email protected] for more information.  Unfortunately, our groups are on hold during the COVID-19 restrictions.  However, they can still be held one-on-one or via Tele-Rehab.  You can also leave your name and contact information with our clinic to be contacted when the groups resume.

We have clinicians on our team who have certifications in LSVT BIG and PWR.

LSVT Big is a well-researched program which helps Parkinson’s patients walk faster with bigger strides, improve their balance, and increase their trunk mobility. It is an intensive regimen of specific exercises, with 1-hour sessions, 4 times a week for 4 weeks and a home program. For more information please call us and visit www.LSVTGlobal.com

PWR or Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery is a research-based therapeutic exercise program that, like LSVT, works on the brain’s ability to adapt and learn (neuroplasticity). It aims to restore motor function and increase quality of life. It focuses on exercises that are high effort and activate the whole body to improve cardiovascular fitness, balance, mobility, and flexibility.

For more information please call us and visit www.pwr4life.org

Treadmill training has been shown to have a positive effect on persons with Parkinson’s. Skills learned on the treadmill carry over to walking on land. Treadmill training also improves cardiovascular fitness and primes the brain for learning. At our clinic, we are able to offer treadmill training with Body Weight Support, an overhead support system which assists you while walking on the treadmill.

The Physiotherapists at Action Potential Rehabilitation can provide individual Hands-on Physiotherapy either in the comfort of your home or in our clinic, whichever setting best meets your needs. After an initial assessment, your physiotherapist will try to address any issues regarding pain, muscle strength, rigidity, balance, and mobility problems. Exercises will be prescribed to improve your strength, range of motion, and to optimize your function.

The frequency and type of physiotherapy intervention may change throughout the course of the disease progression. However, ongoing physiotherapy management can optimize function, maintain mobility, help manage freezing, and help with adaptations as necessary. Most exercises and suggestions will directly relate to functional activities (eg. such as getting up out of a chair), so that muscles are strengthened in the way that they are typically used.

Physiotherapists on our team with Assistive Devices Program (ADP) authorization can prescribe equipment such as walkers, canes and wheelchairs, as indicated.

 

References:

  1. Parkinson’s 101. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2020, from https://www.michaeljfox.org/parkinsons-101

This website provides general information about our services and conditions treated. It is not intended to be used for self-assessment or treatment, and is not a substitute for an individualized treatment plan developed by a registered physiotherapist.

By the Action Potential Rehabilitation Staff

Page last reviewed: May 5th, 2021

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