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Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological condition that usually manifests itself in movement difficulties that worsen with time. Typical indications and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Shakes
  • Tremors
  • Loss of facial expression
  • Impaired balance
  • Stiffness
  • Degraded posture
  • Slowed movement
  • Impaired balance

Many high-profile celebrities such as Michael J. Fox and Mohammad Ali are affected by this debilitating disease and have helped to raise awareness about its effects. It is projected that between 7 and 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease.

What exactly happens?


The human brain normally produces a substance called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for transmitting information between brain cells. Parkinson’s disease occurs when the brain is injured or degenerates and is unable to create dopamine, preventing the transmission of information.

Dopamine reduction correlates with telltale preliminary symptoms like body tremors, uncontrolled shaking of the hands (sometimes described as “pill rolling”), muscle tightening (rigidity), and slowed movements (hypokinesia).

Can a physiotherapist help a patient with Parkinson’s disease?


Parkinson’s disease hits hard and fast. Once it happens, it irrevocably changes the course of life and progresses rapidly. As a result, it is often associated with feelings such as:

  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Disbelief
  • Sorrow
  • Fear

These feelings are often shared by the inflicted individual, his or her family, and any caregivers.

A physiotherapist understand this and helps the individual work through this life-altering condition by improving functional capacity as much as possible. This gives the patient and his or her family hope that as normal a life as possible can still be enjoyed. Through physiotherapy Parkinson’s disease can be effectively managed.

There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, but physiotherapy can slow down its degenerative effects. By assessing and strengthening balance, gait, posture, coordination, and strength, a physiotherapist also helps a patient maintain mobility and mental fortitude.

A physiotherapist will create a customized set of exercises to help those with Parkinson’s disease maintain functionality and mobility while doing the following:

  • Participating in day-to-day activities
  • Enhancing dexterity to perform hand movements
  • Maintaining balance while sitting and standing
  • Managing multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Increasing endurance, strength, and flexibility
  • Teaching coordination skill when changing directions
  • Decreasing risk of falls
  • Ascending and descending stairs
  • Improving the ability to get in and out of bed easily


The above article is provided courtesy of Physiomobility Health Group. If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Physiomobility.
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