Physiotherapy

Parkinson's Care

What is the Parkinson's DIsease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects both the neurological system and the body parts controlled by the nervous system. Symptoms emerge gradually. The initial sign could be a slight tremor in just one hand. Although tremors are typical, the disease may cause stiffness and slow down movement. It can cause the speech to become slurred or dull as well.  Additionally, patients may experience behavioral and mental changes, sleep issues, depression, memory loss, and weariness. As the illness progresses, the symptoms worsen.

The substantia nigra, a brain region, loses nerve cells due to Parkinson’s disease. As a result, the amount of dopamine in the brain decreases.

 

Dopamine is essential in controlling body movements. The cause of many Parkinson’s disease symptoms is a decrease in dopamine. It is unclear what specifically results in the loss of nerve cells. Most specialists believe that a confluence of hereditary and environmental variables is few of the major factors. Although almost anyone is at risk of acquiring Parkinson’s, certain studies indicate that men are more likely than women to be affected by this condition. It’s unknown why, but research is being done to identify potential risk factors.

Even though there is no cure for Parkinson’s yet, medicines and physiotherapy may reduce the symptoms. Occasionally, the doctor may advise surgery to control specific brain areas and alleviate symptoms.

Parkinson's Disease- Signs & Symptoms

Although Parkinson’s has four main symptoms, early symptoms may differ from one person to another. Many at times, the signs are mild and can go unnoticed. The main symptoms include tremors in hand, arms or head, Muscle stiffness, Difficulty with movement, and speech changes. In addition, person suffering from Parkins’s Disease may experience:

. Muscle stiffness or rigidity in the limbs most frequently in the arms, shoulders, or neck.

. Gradual loss of spontaneity often results in mental decline or slowed reaction times, voice changes, altered facial expressions, etc.

. One of the more frequent symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is a loss of smell called Hyposmia. A condition that is known as olfactory dysfunction.

. Trouble Sleeping

. Patients may walk slowly or with dragged-out gaits. This is often described as a “shuffling gait.” The individual may suddenly walk quicker or   ..slower or alter their stride length as they move along.

. Improper posture.  A hunched-over, flexed position with elbows, knees, and hips bent.

. Loss of balance or unsteadiness

. The gastrointestinal system frequently experiences disturbances. Parkinson’s disease may delay the digestive tract’s automatic movement, ..leading to recurrent constipation.

. Dementia or Depression

Risk factors

Parkinson’s disease can be brought on by a confluence of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The interaction of these three factors determines Parkinson’s disease development. The substantia nigra, a brain region, loses nerve cells, resulting in Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is made by nerve cells in this region of the brain. Dopamine levels in the brain decrease if these nerve cells perish or suffer injury resulting in slow or difficulty with movements.
Environment. Though not very prevalent, the risk of Parkinson’s Disease may increase due to environment conditions. Exposure to toxics like metals, pesticides, solvents, and other contaminants, and other environmental risk factors may increase the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

Genetics. Over time, researchers have compared the genes of Parkinson’s patients and found specific gene mutations that can cause Parkinson’s Disease.

Past traumatic brain injury. A head trauma sustained while playing contact sports or due to a motor vehicle accident may raise the likelihood of the illness.

Can Parkinson's Disease be Prevented

There are no proven ways to prevent Parkinson’s Disease however, it is believed that the symptoms can be minimized by following healthy lifestyle that includes exercising and proper diet.

Since Parkinson’s is an inflammatory condition, scientists have devoted a lot of work to studying the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on the situation. The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids go beyond preventing Parkinson’s disease; they are significantly associated with preventing cell death and degeneration.

According to certain studies, regular aerobic exercise may lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Any dietary and lifestyle changes mentioned above can have long-term health advantages, regardless of whether to prevent or manage Parkinson’s disease symptoms effectively.

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Parkinson's Disease Program at RCP Health

Early implementation of the program should be undertaken to prevent deconditioning and other preventable complications. The therapist at RCP health will identify deterioration and implement appropriate intervention. This provides the therapist an opportunity for targeted therapy for restoration or compensation of function.

Particular consideration is given to:

– Gait re-education, improvement of balance and flexibility
– Enhancement of aerobic capacity
– Improvement of movement initiation
– Improvement of functional independence, including mobility and activities of daily living
– Advice regarding safety in the home environment.

The Therapist will assess, monitor, treat & manage the condition. They will decide the treatment location (At-home or in-clinic) and plan goals jointly. they will make sure that the family / carer is aware of the treatment plan and updated on progress in a timely fashion.

The Physiotherapist can help chose the right assistive device They will also ensure that the device is the correct size and proper training on how to use it is provided. The assistive devices may include

  • Crutches
  • Wheeled walker
  • Standard walker
  • Lofstrand crutches
  • Quad cane
  • Standard cane

When to Start Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy for patients with Parkinson’s should begin as early as possible. it can also be initiated at any stage through the course of the disease but clarity on the goals i.e. rehabilitation goals, maintenance, or palliatives should be set beforehand.  

If you need any information or have any questions related to the treatment, please feel free call us at 1.888.332.7372 to book a free consultation session with our physiotherapist. 

 

Resources

Check out our resources section for more information on topics like health, lifestyle, rehabilitation, and many more.