Physical Therapy Has Proven Benefits in Parkinson’s Disease

August 12, 2014 in STSMPT

Therapy for Parkinson’s disease often focuses on medication and neurosurgical treatment, but there is a growing awareness and acceptance of the benefits available through physical therapy.  There have been multiple studies, and the most authoritative of them have been recently combined in a systematic review and meta-analysis by Claire Tomlinson and her team from the University of Birmingham.  They combined the results of 39 higher-quality, published trials that involved a total of 1,827 people with Parkinson’s.  The studies reported on various forms of exercise therapy and physical therapy.

Researchers tracked 18 measures of possible improvement, and found that physical therapy in general created statistically significant improvement in nine of those measures.  There are three categories of improvement in which physical therapy demonstrated the most clinically significant gains for patients with Parkinson’s disease:

  • Gait speed
  • Balance
  • Ability / Disability

If you or someone you care about is challenged in these areas by Parkinson’s disease, please give us a call.

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative condition for which there are multiple supportive therapies and treatments, but no cure.  Each person with the disease is challenged by it in a different way and has a unique set of symptoms.  The four main signs and symptoms known as the primary motor symptoms are:

  • Bradykinesia: slowed motion and movement
  • Resting tremor: shaking, often in one hand, one foot, the jaw, or face.
  • Rigidity: muscle stiffness
  • Compromised posture and balance

Symptoms of these nature should be reported to a doctor.

Source: BMJ 2012; 345: e5004

PT for Parkinson's

Print Friendly