Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. Parkinson’s causes are unknown but genetics, aging, and toxins are being researched. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may cause one to move more slowly. Tightness, pain, and weakness, especially in the muscles and joints may be felt. Rehabilitation for Parkinson’s includes an integrated approach to physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
Physical therapy can help compensate for the changes brought about by the condition. These “compensatory treatments,” as they’re called, include learning about new movement techniques, strategies, and equipment. A physical therapist will teach exercises to strengthen and stretch muscles. Many of these exercises can be performed at home. The goal of physical therapy is to improve the independence and quality of life for Parkinson’s patients by improving movement, function, and relieving pain, as well as preventing falls.
Occupational therapy addresses the activities of daily living. By improving skills, teaching different ways to complete tasks, or introducing handy equipment, an occupational therapist can help a person with Parkinson’s to perform everyday activities with greater ease and satisfaction. Your therapist will look at the various adaptive equipment needed, such as handwriting aides, computer modifications, bathtub and toilet equipment, and dressing and grooming aids to make appropriate recommendations.
Speech therapy deals with the dysarthria (difficulty speaking) and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) which are symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that can be severely limiting. Speech-language pathologists can help people with Parkinson’s disease maintain as many communication skills as possible. They also teach techniques that conserve energy, including non-verbal communication skills. Your therapist will evaluate swallowing function and recommend changes as necessary.
By providing coordinated therapeutic services in your home environment, we strive to improve the quality of daily life for Parkinson’s patients and their families.