||Physiotherapy for Parkinson's
disease - help with movement, posture and balance
"I go to physiotherapy
and they advice me on different exercises that can help me. It gives me more
confidence when I am out and about"
- People with Parkinson's
disease (PD) often experience stiff or rigid muscles, difficulty moving
around, and problems with balance and posture.
- Physiotherapists relieve
muscle and joint stiffness and discomfort by use of exercise, relaxation,
physical treatments such as heat and cooling, and by carefully moving joints
and by stretching muscles (manipulation). They can also teach people to do
- If muscles are used less
frequently, then they tend to lose strength. Physiotherapists can advise on
specific exercises to maintain or improve muscle strength. These exercises
can also be performed at home. People feel more comfortable and more
confident and so can remain more independent.
- People with PD often develop
difficulties with everyday actions, such as walking normally, getting up
from a chair, turning over and getting in and out of bed. Physiotherapists
can teach how to get round these problems and make it easier to get
about. They can recommend any walking aids and appliances and other
equipment that would be suitable.
- Physiotherapists can also help
with retaining good posture and maintaining balance. They teach people how
to reduce risk of falls and what to do if they do fall over. If breathing is
a problem, they can recommend exercises and techniques that can help.
- Early referral for
physiotherapy is generally recommended. Continual physiotherapy is not
needed, but intermittent reassessment and maintenance sessions and advice
are valuable. Involving family members will let them learn how best to help,
without damaging themselves and reduce misunderstanding and frustration.
alongside other staff in hospitals and clinics, as well as working
independently. You may be able to refer yourself directly, or may need a
referral from your family doctor or specialist.
The UK Parkinson's Disease
Society (telephone +44 (0)20 7931 8080; http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/)
publishes a booklet and audio cassette tape of relaxation and exercises to
music ('Living with Parkinson's disease'), as well as a video cassette
tape of exercises.
The Association of
Physiotherapists and Parkinson's Disease in Europe (http://appde.unn.ac.uk)
also publish a video cassette 'Common mobility problems in Parkinson's
disease and how to address them' are available via http://www.parkinsoninfo.dk,
or from Mariella.firstname.lastname@example.org
physiotherapy in Parkinson's disease are available at www.online.unn.ac.uk
Top of Page