Physical therapy helps Parkinson’s patients think bigMarch 3, 2015
(Philadelphia, PA) Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system, affects your movement, causing stiffness in your muscles and tremors in your hands. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Over time, Parkinson’s disease may reduce your ability to move and slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk, or you may find it difficult to get out of a chair. Also, you may drag your feet as you try to walk, making it more difficult to move.”
With this disease, even small movements become a challenge. At Conshohocken Physical Therapy in Conshohocken, however, Parkinson patients are encouraged to think big. Physical therapy has been proven as a great way for these patients to gain more functional independence.
Dr. Jory Davis, who is a LSVT-certified specialist, leads her patients struggling with Parkinson’s symptoms on a journey to relearn how to create normal movements. She becomes a partner with her patients and their families to help them combat and manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. As a patient’s condition changes, their treatment program will be adjusted to help them be as independent and as active as possible.
“With high amplitude and intensity, they are able to make bigger movements, move quicker and be able to do activities they weren’t able to do before.”
In an effort to reach out to more patients, Dr. Davis is hosting a seminar on “Parkinson’s Disease and the Role of Physical Therapy on Monday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m.
“The program is based on 7 maximum daily exercises like sitting in a chair and moving to a standing position. We practice gait, walking and posture,” she explained.
“Parkinson patients might have a freezing spell going from sitting to standing. We want to help break that cycle of being frozen.”
She added that the exercises promote neuroplasticity which refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself.
“It is just very rewarding to see how much change is possible in such a short time,” she said. “To help them discover how they can fight through the disease. To see a patient walking slowly shuffling their feet first coming into the office and then later coming in walking faster with a big small on their face.”
The seminar is a 4 week program for 4 times week for an hour, but the exercises taught can be continued forever.
“Many times people with Parkinson’s might not be aware of programs out there that, while they won’t necessarily stop progression, they will help with daily life. We hope that they will tell others and help spread the word.”