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Parkinson’s Physical Therapy Interventions

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Can You Apply The Results Of The Systematic Review To Your Own Patients

Occupational Therapy & Parkinsons Disease

On the basis of the patient-intervention-comparison-outcome analysis, the results of the Cochrane review can be applied to patients such as Mr Jennings. Clinicians should, however, consider several limitations of the data. First, the outcomes were related to gait and balance but not to overall functional ability. This fact is important because improvements in gait do not necessarily lead to improvements in basic activities of daily living, such as dressing and hygiene, or overall household activities, such as cooking, cleaning, and managing laundry. Second, only short-term outcomes were examined. Parkinson disease is a progressive condition, and although short-term benefits are important, true benefits may be realized only if the patient develops the skills and strategies for long-term adherence to appropriate exercise and activity. Data regarding the best strategies for assisting patients in developing appropriate activity and long-term exercise habits are needed.

Furthermore, evidence is not yet available to determine the best intervention strategies on the basis of subgroups of PD or H& Y stages of PD. Finally, many patients have substantial comorbid conditions that should be taken into account in the design of a plan of care, both because of safety implications and because they can contribute to deficits in movement and function.

What Type Of Physiotherapist Should I See

Any physiotherapist you see should ideally specialise in Parkinsons.

Like many other healthcare professionals, physiotherapists specialise in different areas of practice. Some work specifically with people with neurological conditions like Parkinsons, and some have additional qualifications in exercise and fitness training, especially those working in gym settings.

Your physiotherapist will assess how Parkinsons affects your movement, whether youre newly diagnosed, or youve had the condition for some time. This means they can help to keep up your fitness levels, and maintain good posture and balance as your condition progresses. This will help you remain independent.

You may feel that your mobility is very good and that you are keeping active without any problems. But a physiotherapist can also help you maintain your mobility to help avoid any future issues.

Your physiotherapist should form part of your support network, involving your family and carers, in helping you manage your Parkinsons.

Seeing a physiotherapist can have a number of benefits for people with Parkinsons and their carers. These are outlined below.

Search Strategy And Selection Criteria

A systematic search of the literature to the end of January 2012 was undertaken using a highly sensitive search strategy as recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration. We combined text and, where appropriate, Medical Subject Heading terms for physiotherapy, physical therapy, exercise, or rehabilitation and Parkinson, Parkinsons disease, or parkinsonism. No language restrictions were applied. We identified relevant trials by electronic searches of general biomedical and science electronic databases , rehabilitation databases English language databases of foreign language research and third world publications conference and grey literature databases , and trial registries . We also hand searched relevant general and specific journals , abstract books, and conference proceedings , as well as examined the reference lists of identified papers and other reviews.

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What To Expect From Speech

Changes in Voice or Speech: A speech impairment is called a dysarthria. These changes may include having a mono pitch, decreased loudness, variable rate of speech and decreased articulatory precision. Additionally, the vocal quality may be breathy and/or hoarse.

The recognized treatment for this disorder is the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment protocol. This is a four- or eight-week program depending on frequency of visits that targets improving the loudness and clarity of speech by participating in repetitive exercises.

Changes in Swallowing: A swallowing impairment is called dysphagia. Symptoms may include drooling, having a wet or gurgly voice, coughing/throat clearing/choking when eating or drinking, feeling food stuck in the throat, and having a type of pneumonia attributable to swallowing deficits called aspiration pneumonia.

Treatment is focused on improving the strength and speed of movement of the swallowing musculature. A patients diet may also need to be modified to improve safety. The patient will also be trained in swallowing strategies to optimize safety.

Cognitive Impairment: Cognitive impairment is a common non-motor complaint of people with Parkinsons. Changes may be seen in the persons attention, organization, memory, visual spatial skills and language.

Music Therapy Interventions In Parkinsons Disease: The State

Parkinsons Disease Physical Therapy Interventions
  • Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

Parkinsons disease is a neurological disorder involving the progressive degeneration of the dopaminergic system, which gives rise to movement-related dysfunctions as well as other symptoms, mainly of cognitive and psychological nature. In the latter case, mood disorders prevails frequently causing anxiety and depression in all phases of the disease, sometimes even before the motor symptoms occur.

Aarsland and colleagues report that 35% of the patients affected by PD present depression, whereas Richard states that anxiety is to be found in 40% of the cases.

The literature shows that playing and listening to music may modulate emotions, behaviors, movements, communication, and cognitive factors, modifying the activity of the brain areas involved in the perception and regulation of these aspects .

Music can produce substantial effects on movement-related symptoms as well as psychological ones in PD treatment. Concerning the first aspect, rhythm has a crucial role in rehabilitation, enhancing connections between the motor and auditory systems .

Literature showed how a rhythmic auditory cues-based training can produce a compensation of the cerebello-thalamo-cortical network leading to beneficial effects, for example, improving not only speed and step length but also perceptual and motor timing abilities .

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Feasibility And Preliminary Effectiveness Design Of The Empower

Study design and settings

This 12-week pilot for a randomized clinical trial will assess the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of the EMPOWER-PD and make comparisons with conventional physical therapy . The EMPOWER-PD intervention protocol was developed according to template for intervention description and replication checklist . The study protocol was described according to the SPIRIT guideline , and its feasibility will be analyzed according to the aspects mentioned in the CONSORT checklist for pilot and feasibility clinical trials . The research project was submitted to the University Research Ethical Review Board of the Santa Catarina State University , Florian├│polis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, according to the terms of Resolution 466/2012, and approved under report n┬░ 2.145.010. The trial was registered on ReBECBrazilian Registry of Clinical Trials: Rio de Janeiro : Scientific Information and Technologic in Health Institute Registry name: A Physiotherapy protocol based on the preferences of the individual with Parkinson Disease for health empowerment, Identifier RBR-7ZBXQ5, Registered 18 August 2017, .

Fig. 1

Sample size



Helping To Prevent Or Manage Falls

Your physiotherapist can work with you on strength and balance training to improve any problems you may have with walking, especially when youre turning.

People who experience freezing, or who are stiffer or weaker, are more at risk of falling.

Your physiotherapist can help you improve your confidence and reduce any fear of falling. They can also teach you techniques to help you get down safely on to the floor, and up again if you fall. Often, a physiotherapist will work with an occupational therapist to help you remove any tripping hazards from your home.

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Getting On And Off The Floor

A lot of things in life happen on the floor! Your grandkids play there. Your picnic blanket opens there. Your keys are dropped there. Your bulbs and seeds are planted there. The easier it is for you to get down there and back up again, the more you can participate in life. This may be why the ability to sit and rise from the floor is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality.

You may have given up getting on the floor for a variety of reasons. Do you have stiff hips? Does your knee or back hurt? Does it make you dizzy? Is it just extremely exhausting or scary? A Parkinsons physical therapist can help you slowly but surely regain this valuable life skill!

Teri was diagnosed with Parkinsons 10 years ago and continues to improve her ability to get on and off the floor

Occupational Therapy Modifications For People With Parkinsons

Physical Therapy Students Treat Parkinsons Disease

Along with physical exercises, occupational therapists often recommend modifications to help people living with PD maintain function and continue participating in daily activities. Modifications may include:1

  • Changing the nature, time, and duration of an activity
  • Simplifying activities by breaking complex actions into simple tasks
  • Arranging items to reduce situations that involve time pressure, like moving the telephone to an accessible location

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Physiotherapy For Treatment Of Parkinson’s Disease

In spite of various medical and surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease , patients gradually develop significant physical problems. Physiotherapists aim to enable people with PD to maintain their maximum level of mobility, activity, and independence by monitoring their condition and targeting appropriate treatment. A range of approaches to movement rehabilitation are used, which aim to enhance quality of life by maximising physical ability and minimising problems related to Parkinson’s over the whole course of the disease.

Only randomised controlled trials were included in this review. In these studies,a group of participants were given physiotherapy intervention and were compared with another group of participants, who did not receive physiotherapy. Participants were assigned to a group in random fashion so a fair test was established. Thirty-nine randomised trials involving 1827 participants were identified as suitable for this review. The quality of the trials was not high because in many, methods were not reported adequately and blinding was not feasible. These trials assessed various physiotherapy interventions, so the trials were grouped according to the type of intervention being used .

Parkinsons Physical Therapy Exercises Improve Balance Coordination Strength

Parkinsons Disease has a wide range of symptoms that generally begin with tremor, stiffness, and slowing of movement. As the disease progresses, PD motor symptoms can include foot-dragging, freezing, less-pronounced movements, and facial expression. Treating Parkinsons with physical therapy is recommended to reduce stiffness and discomfort and to allow patients to continue to perform daily tasks and retain independence.

Parkinsons physical therapy should be the first medicine in the treatment of PD. Properly trained physical therapists can address issues beyond just the conditions motor symptoms. Specific exercises targeting PD can have a large impact, and PD experts agree that physical activity is beneficial to PD patients at all stages of their disease, including at early diagnosis. Physical therapists trained in treating neurological conditions recommend exercises for people with PD aimed at improved balance and coordination, flexibility, endurance, and strength.

Researchers have found that during Parkinsons physical therapy, the frequency of a workout is more important than the type of exercise a patient engages in. In fact, patients who exercise at least 2-1/2 hours per week experience a slower decline in quality of life.

Each person with PD is affected differently, and specialists in Parkinsons treatments should take an individualized approach to managing the disorder. Read on for our Physical Therapy for PD Q & A.

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How Does Physical Therapy Help Parkinsons Disease

Physical therapy cannot cure Parkinsons disease, because at this time, neurological damage cannot be reversed. But therapy can help you compensate for the changes brought about by the condition. These compensatory treatments, as theyre called, include learning about new movement techniques, strategies, and equipment. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and loosen muscles. Many of these exercises can be performed at home. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your independence and quality of life by improving movement and function and relieving pain.

Physical therapy can help with:

  • Balance problems

Important note: Some physical therapists may apply diathermy to relieve muscle aches and pains. This could be dangerous to patients who have deep brain stimulators.

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Parkinsons Disease Physical Therapy Interventions

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What Is Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a specialized form of health care that involves evaluating and treating a person with limited mobility. It is used to treat many conditions, including arthritis, amputations, injuries and Parkinson’s disease. Physical therapists are licensed professionals trained to apply individualized techniques to help patients regain mobility.

How To Find A Speech Therapist

Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any changes in your speech, voice or swallowing. Ask for a referral to a speech language pathologist to evaluate and address these symptoms. If you have not noticed changes in your speech, but a spouse, care partner or friend has, pay attention to their comments. The sooner you get a speech evaluation and start speech therapy, the better.

Speech therapists work in many settings, including hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation centers and private practice offices. To locate one in your area:

  • Ask your neurologist
  • Contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at www.asha.org
  • Find a therapist certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment at www.lsvtglobal.com
  • Ideally, you should see a speech therapist face-to-face for a complete voice and speech evaluation and treatment. However, if a speech therapist is not available in your area, LSVT LOUD the most researched voice treatment for people with PD is virtually offered in select states. The speech therapist interacts with you in your home or office live through your computer screen.

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    Pedaling For Parkinsons Viewed Favorably By Patients In Study

    Despite disease-relevant treatments, Parkinsons patients experience declines in physical functioning and their capacity to participate in daily activities as their disease progresses.

    Adding physical therapy to medication regimens is a common approach to help slow these declines. Physical therapy can encompass a range of activities, with most programs involving Parkinsons-relevant exercises to build muscle strength, improve balance, and restore or retain a more normal posture and gait, all with the goal of improving or maintaining functional abilities.

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    Be Your Own Therapist

    Parkinson’s Exercise Strategies for the Trainer or Physical Therapist

    Which activities are most important to you? Once you answer, try the strategies below to see which ones work for you for each activity.

    Use Personal Strengths

    How can you build on your strengths and minimize your limitations? For example, if you have the strength of helping children enjoy reading, you could exercise that strength by reading to your grandchildren, by listening to them as they read or by playing a reading game that stimulates both your imagination and theirs.

    One of your strengths may be thinking skills. One thinking skill is imagining doing the activity before doing it. For example, imagining writing big can actually help you write big. Another thinking skill is speaking the steps out loud. When combing your hair, try saying hold and comb, to avoid dropping the comb.

    Make sure you are exercising. Improving strength, balance and endurance through exercise supports your participation in all sorts of activities. Whether it is dancing or walking to a neighbors house, find an enjoyable way to exercise

    Lastly, be positive. Think, I will do rather than Ill try to and you may be more successful.

    Change the Environment

    Adapt the Activity

    Which activities do you enjoy and how can you adapt that activity to make sure you can still do it? For example, if you love baking, perhaps substitute complex recipes with simpler ones.

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    Physical Therapy For Parkinsons Disease

    Its well-known that exercise of all kinds is beneficial for patients with Parkinsons disease. But physical therapy, in particular, is key. Why? A professional can guide you through the right moves to increase mobility, strength and balance, and help you remain independent, says Denise Padilla-Davidson, a Johns Hopkins physical therapist who works with patients who have Parkinsons. Here are things a therapist may work on:

    Note: Please discuss any exercise program with your physician/neurologist and get a referral to a physical therapist or trainer with expertise in Parkinsons disease before starting any specific program.

    Limitations Of The Review

    The methodological quality and reporting of the majority of trials was variable, and often inadequate. Of 39 trials, only 18 provided information on the randomisation method and only five used a central randomisation procedure to ensure concealment of treatment allocation. Blinded assessors were used in 24 studies, and only nine reported using intention to treat analysis. The lack of information in many reports may not necessarily indicate poor implementation within the trial, but without this information, the level of bias within each trial is difficult to assess. The need for further improvement in the methodological quality of trials in physiotherapy for Parkinsons disease was noted in another recent systematic review.70 Future trials therefore need to ensure that their designs fulfil the requirements of a methodologically sound, large randomised controlled trial, and that the reporting follows the CONSORT guidelines.71

    Outcome reporting bias may have created a deceptively positive impression of the effectiveness of the studied interventions. Unfortunately, the proportion of outcomes that went unreported could not be assessed here, owing to a lack of information on trial protocol.

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    How Many Physical Therapy Visits Will I Need

    Treatments in physical therapy often can be completed in one to three office visits. The first appointment includes an evaluation and recommendations for exercises. The following appointments check your progress and review and expand your home program. Most hospitals can provide additional sessions of outpatient therapy if needed.


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