Massage Therapy As A Complementary Treatment For Parkinsons Disease: A Systematic Literature Review
Massage is one of the most commonly used forms of CAM.
There is a wide range of safe massage techniques with beneficial effects on both motor and non-motor symptoms of PD.
A personalized approach for PD patients should combine massage therapy techniques with conventional medicine.
Longitudinal studies are needed to justify the introduction of massage therapy into clinical practice.
What Causes Parkinsons Disease
The origin of Parkinsons disease is unidentified. However, numerous aspects seem to play a significant role and thus know as Parkinsons disease cause:
Helps In Improving Digestion And Removes Toxins From The System
Digestive dysfunctions are quite common in patients suffering from Parkinson’s. Massage sessions help in reducing cortisol levels in the body along with removing harmful toxins from the system effectively. Many Parkinson’s patients suffer from chronic constipation and other digestive disorders. Abdominal massage helps in removing the obstructions and the discomfort associated with the same successfully. With proper digestion and toxin removal, the physical, as well as emotional well being of the Parkinson’s patient, is ensured.
Massage Therapy And Parkinsons Diseasea Review Of The Literature
Today, the majority of PD cases are effectively treated with a combination of medications, including the drug levodopa however, the degenerative effects of PD will still eventually lead to the progressive deterioration of neuromuscular control affecting bodily functions and activities of daily living. A study reviewing the research base states that, while many PD patients receive regular massage to alleviate PD symptoms, the lack of high-quality studies leaves the efficacy of the intervention for improvement of any measure other than relaxation, sleep, or emotional health unknown.
A number of recent global studies have been conducted in an attempt to determine complementary and alternative medicine usage by PD patients, with a worldwide usage rate varying between 26% to 76%, and usage of massage therapy in particular varying between 7% and 40%. The patients generally tending to turn towards CAM treatments in addition to the medical and pharmaceutical care they are receiving are those who have had a younger onset or longer duration of disease, those on higher doses of levodopa, and those with more severe motor symptoms.
How Can It Help In Parkinson’s
Research suggests that massage can help to relieve the muscle stiffness and rigidity that is often found in Parkinsons. It can also help reduce stress, promote relaxation and enable you to identify tension in your body, and so find ways to minimise or reduce this. Tension can make symptoms worse so it is important to keep it under control.
Massage can also be invigorating and stimulating, both for the mind and body. It is important to decide what effect you want relaxing or stimulating before your massage session starts!
Massage can work in two ways:
- A mechanical action in which the muscles and soft tissues of the body have pressure applied to them or are stretched using specific movements. This can help in breaking down knotty, fibrous tissue, keeping joints loose and connective tissue in good repair.
- A reflex action in which massaging one part of the body has an effect on another part, for example massaging the neck can help with back pain, or massaging the lower back can help with leg pain. This works because nerve pathways connect various parts of the body and so massage can have a knock on effect.
Massage benefits may include:
- reduced stress, anxiety and depression
- improved circulation and elimination of waste and toxins
- improved quality of sleep
- greater sense of self-awareness and wellbeing
- improved vitality.
These benefits can obviously be enjoyed by carers and family too.
Also Check: Is There A Test To Diagnose Parkinson’s
Is It Safe To Use
The Theracycle is designed specifically for users with movement disorders and has many safety features. Its motion can be stopped instantly using either a push of a button or a pull of a cord. The structural steel and cast iron parts help support the users weight safely and the seat is extra large for comfort and stability.
How Does Massage For Parkinsons Work
The incidence of Parkinsons disease in the United States is estimated at 1 million, with an additional 50,000 patients being diagnosed every year. While it is generally considered a disease of those between 50 and 79 years of age, incidence below the age of 40 is rapidly increasing and epidemiologists suspect environmental influences are playing a part in this phenomenon.
If muscle balance is not in control, flexors can take over, which is a similar result as the muscle freezing after a stroke occurs. Ranges of motion exercises are very important with the process of relating the muscles that control the joints.
If resistance is encountered, then force should not be used, gentle coercion is instead the process to be followed. Patients who have had joint replacement should not be subjected to a range of motion exercises. The massage therapist works with the patient to massage and loosen where possible and regain some flexibility by working the muscles.
The origins of the scaleni are located deep in a network of blood vessels, connective tissues and nerves. Loosening up neck muscles should occur as a unit when massage is undertaken. Most of the symptoms of Parkinsons involve musculature. It is important to be sensitive to the needs of the patient and work slowly.
You May Like: What Are The Main Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease
Treatment For Parkinsons Disease
Treatment for Parkinsons disease is always challenging, and according to modern medical science, this condition cannot be cured, but medication can help control your symptoms, often dramatically. In some more aggressive cases, surgical intervention may be recommended.
Your attending physician and neurologist may also advise some important lifestyle changes, especially exercising and occupational therapy. Physical therapy modalities that emphases on balance and stretching are also important. A speech therapist can help improve your language problems.
You May Like: Judy Woodruff Health Problems
Off Time Can Be Managed
Your doctor can recommend medical management approaches, such as changing your medication dosage or dosage schedule, or taking levodopa in a different way. They may also prescribe add-on medications, such as Azilect , Gocovri , or apomorphine, which can reduce off time and dyskinesia. Other treatment options for Parkinsons, such as deep brain stimulation, can also reduce off time.
However, there are many steps and lifestyle changes you can try to manage off time at home.
Recommended Reading: Parkinsons Disease Is The Result Of
Read Also: What Vitamin Is Good For Parkinson’s Disease
Things To Remember About Massage For Parkinsons
Research into massage for Parkinsons proves that the therapy can alleviate pains associated with muscle and joint stiffness, which are common symptoms of the disease. It is crucial that the client can feel sensation and touch in the area that is being worked on.
This is where communication is key, and our therapists will ensure that all safety precautions have been followed before beginning the session.
However, it is highly important to always bear in mind the following:
- Parkinsons is a dysfunction in the central nervous system and massage alone cannot fix this malady
- It is important to work alongside the clients doctor to gauge whether this practice is safe, and to discuss any further medication needed
- We have taken extra precautionary methods involving the getting on and off of the massage bed. We understand that Parkinsons is a disease characterised by involuntary movement, and we will work with clients and their carers to ensure the transition onto the bed is fully safe.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Parkinsons
The main signs and symptoms of Parkinsons are often not very noticeable when they first commence. After some progression, there are unmistakable signs and symptoms that start to appear and they include:
Read Also: Fitflop Shoes For Parkinsons
Read Also: Which Is Worse Parkinson’s Or Ms
Oil Therapy For Parkinsons
Aromatherapy or the process of taking medically-valuable components from natural sources such as plants and making them into medication has been used for centuries. Though it is not conclusive, in some patients aromatherapy can help with diseases and pain in general. Of course, aromatherapy is not something you can rely on entirely, it should be used as a complementary form of treatment to other solutions and medications. This is why it is essential that you consult the doctor who is treating your senior, especially since they may need to provide a prescription for particular products.
Though its not a one-fits-all sort of solution, aromatherapy can have significant positive effects on the body. It can be especially effective considering the way it is used. With massage and other possible applications, the oil can penetrate the skin and reach the muscle tissue to relieve different symptoms connected to the patients movement. Though these applications and uses may sound simple, its important that you consult a medical practitioner. Using essential oils can sometimes cause unwanted reactions with the medicines your senior already uses, this is why caregivers need to be sure about whether or not aromatherapy is the right way to go.
Why Does The Theracycle Cost More Than A Basic Exercise Bike
The Theracycle is not a simple or traditional exercise bike. The biggest difference is the unique motorized technology and the 15-speed variable gearbox, which allows you to attain and maintain a significantly faster cadence for a longer period than you can achieve using a traditional stationary or road bike. A Theracycle has been proven to reduce neurological symptoms and improve motor function and mobility.
Additionally, the bike is custom engineered for the specific needs of people with movement disorders, not only in its open walk-though design, but also when it comes to durability and, most importantly, stability. The Theracycle is built on a very sturdy, heavy structural steel frame. It has a low center of gravity by design, which is ideal for those with balance, dexterity or gait issues providing a safe and secure exercise option in the comfort of your own home. Also important is the motor-assisted handlebar which provides both core and upper body exercise with a repetitive rowing motion for a full-body workout. A Theracycle provides a meditative and relaxing option for both mental and physical therapy that is low impact to your joints and muscles.
Recommended Reading: What Prevents Parkinson’s Disease
The Benefits Of Massage Therapy On Parkinsons Disease
In addition to its tragic impact on voluntary motor skills, Parkinsons disease typically causes muscle stiffness and rigidity. Learn how bodywork can alleviate the symptoms of this increasingly common central nervous system disorder.
Want to earn continuing education credit for this article? Learn more.
Parkinsons disease is a fairly common progressive degenerative central nervous system disorder. Affecting approximately one million people in the U.S., Parkinsons disease is a dysfunction in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that controls voluntary movement. Characteristic symptoms of this chronic, progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder include tremors, rigidity, slow movement , poor balance and difficulty walking .
Adapting Your Bedroom For Parkinsons Disease
Physical effects from Parkinsons disease usually involve fatigue and difficulty in moving the arms and legs. These problems can make many of the activities of living on your own more difficult. It is important then for you to follow some important tips and guidelines so that you can better function independently in your home.
Tips to Adapt Your Home and Bedroom
- Give yourself a lot of room to move around your living room and bedroom. Put furniture in places so that there is plenty of space between pieces.
- If you can, try to arrange your furniture so that outlets can be reached without extension cords. If you must use extension cords, they should be secured with tape.
- Try to buy chairs with armrests, straight backs and firm seats. This makes getting up and sitting down a lot easier.
- Install sturdy handrails in the bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom when there is nothing to hold onto.
- If getting out of bed is hard, you should try to sleep in a chair that reclines.
- Take out any furniture out of your bedroom that is not necessary. This will make it easier for you to get around, especially in the dark.
- It is a good idea to increase lighting in various parts of the house, including the bathroom and bedroom.
- Purchase nightlights that activate by motion for your bedroom. That way when you get up to go to the restroom, you will be able to see.
- Make your bed with satin or silk sheets so that turning over in bed is easier for you.
Buy Bedroom Parkinsons Aids for Better Sleep
You May Like: How To Reduce Risk Of Parkinson’s Disease
The Physiology Of Parkinsons
Experts believe that in Parkinsons disease, neurons in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of dopamine-producing neurons. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that stimulates motor neurons, the nerve cells that control muscles. When dopamine production is depleted, the motor system nerves are unable to control movement and coordination. People with Parkinsons disease have lost 80 percent or more of their dopamine-producing cells by the time symptoms appear. While symptoms may appear at any age, the average age of onset is 60 years old.
Is Theracycle Safe To Use
The Theracycle is designed specifically for users with movement disorders and has many safety features. Its motion can be stopped instantly using either a push of a button or a pull of the safety cord. The structural steel frame can support up to 350lbs and cast iron parts are extremely durable and built to last. The seat is extra large for added comfort, safety and stability.
Choose From Our Available Ebooks:
Proven Parkinsons Disease Therapy
Hope and Results is an easy-to-read eBook that describes this new therapy and the benefits its currently bringing to people with PD.
We offer a 48-month interest-free financing program through First Mutual Financing. The procedure requires a credit application to be submitted for review. You will hear back within an hour.
Your Theracycle specialist, after assessment, will provide the cost of the purchase to be financed. They will give you the link to the application and the Merchant number.
Helps In Getting More Restful Sleep
As per reports from the Massage Therapy Foundation, it has been proved that effective massaging helps in inducing improved sleep in Parkinson’s patients. With massage therapy sessions, lesser tension in the muscles, and a decrease in tremors were seen in patients. Urine tests were also carried out in many patients and they proved to show lesser stress hormones, thus making the patient calm and relaxed. Restful sleep for a long time was induced with less restlessness and wakefulness during sleep. Some patients opined that they enjoyed 10 hours of restful sleep at a stretch with massaging.
Don’t Miss: Zandopa For Parkinson’s Disease
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Known as the shaking palsy, Parkinsons Disease is a movement disorder that includes the progressive degeneration of nerve tissue. A decrease in the production of certain hormones, like dopamine, that assist nerve transmission signals is also a common problem with this disease.
Parkinsons is rare in people under 40 years old, but occurs in about 1% of people over 60. Men account for nearly 66% of all diagnosed cases.
Dont Miss: Weighted Silverware
What Does The Research Say
In a 2002 study conducted by a research institute at the University of Miami and a team from its neurology department, symptoms of Parkinsons disease were reduced by massage therapy. The subject cases underwent bi-weekly massages, over a period of five weeks.
They reported a boost in their day-to-day functioning, enhanced quality of sleep, and a reduction in their stress level hormones. The massage received in this study included focusing on the buttocks, back, thighs, ribs, feet and calves, forearms, hands, upper arms, face, neck, and head.
Leaders of this study recorded that there was a definite enhancement in the subjects abilities to sleep, function, and in their overall mood.
Recommended Reading: Does Parkinson’s Cause Headaches
Finding The Right Tool
We did worry the strength of the massage gun would be too much for him. Apart from being very strong on the person being massaged, the vibration from holding the gun itself can also feel your hand feeling a bit tingly after holding the gun.
However, he ended up finding a mini version of the gun – Hypersphere Mini. This version is a lot smaller and is actually a lot easier to use for longer periods of time. It doesnt come with as many massage heads but those can be bought separately.
Since he bought the massage gun, my father just runs it along his neck, down his back, along his calves, as well as under his feet. He sometimes pushes it and does it for longer than the recommended 15 minutes a day written on the box.