Who is Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation for?
There is growing evidence that individuals with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease can benefit from treatment that targets flexibility, strengthening and cardiovascular conditioning.
Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone. These treatments can improve balance, walking and overall functional ability. In addition, therapy may slow down the progression of the disease. Moderate to vigorous exercise/activity should begin immediately upon diagnosis and continue throughout the course of the disease. Evidence also supports that regular aerobic exercise such as walking prevents development of cognitive impairment in healthy elderly individuals and this can hold true in Parkinson’s disease as well.
What does Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation involve?
Our clinicians bring a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the patient care management of Parkinson’s disease. Patient-centered care is coordinated among occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy in collaboration with your physician.
After a thorough evaluation and development of a plan of care, treatment may consist of:
- Flexibility/stretching and strengthening exercises
- Fitness (aerobic) activities
- Strategies to improve mobility: walking, freezing, standing up from chairs, reduce risk of falls
- Strategies to improve self-care activities
- Stress management
- Instruction in cognitive strategies
- Speech training in swallowing as well as rate, control, respiration and phonation
How long will Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation take?
The plan of care is developed specifically to the individual's needs and goals defined by the patient and evaluating therapist. We will work with your treating physician to optimize your care. Therapy may be one-two times a week and could last for several weeks depending on your needs.