Huntington’s disease (HD) can be an overwhelming diagnosis. But there is hope for many HD patients. Cleveland Clinic rehabilitation therapists bring a comprehensive rehabilitation services include a team of therapists and physicians who specialize in HD, as well as other medical providers to assist in your care.
Who is Huntington’s disease rehabilitation for?
Patients with Huntington’s disease may see a physical therapist to help manage the physical symptoms of HD. Symptoms and conditions treated may include:
- Balance problems/fall risk reduction
- Upper body/trunk weakness
- Pain or fatigue
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty with activities of daily living - dressing, self-feeding, bathing, grooming, toileting
- Difficulty with home management tasks - meal preparation/cooking, cleaning, laundry
- Impaired coordination of movement
- Changes in cognition
What does Huntington’s disease rehabilitation involve?
Physical therapists may assess fall risk and prevention, as well as strengthening, stretching, and cardiovascular exercises.
Physical therapy can be helpful by providing "compensatory" treatments that help enable you to compensate for the changes brought about by HD. Goals of physical therapy are may include:
- Improve your independence and quality of life by improving movement and function
- Learning new strategies to cope with the changes that occur in HD to promote safety
- To prevent secondary problems (such as injuries from a fall)
- To help make adaptations so the person can function for as long and as comfortably as possible
How long will Huntington’s disease rehabilitation take?
Physical therapy can often be completed on an outpatient basis. The first appointment includes an evaluation and recommendations for exercises. The following appointments check your progress and review and expand your home program. Additional sessions of outpatient physical therapy can be added if needed to attain an expected improvement in function.
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