When a person receives a diagnosis of Parkinson's there can be a lot of information to take in. Many times some of the very helpful things get lost in your memory.
This report highlights what you can do to maximise your ability to take advantage of the things that are within your control to live well with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson's impacts people in many different ways. Combine all of the tips in this Special Report with a trip to see a Specialised Physiotherapist and you will see an increase in mobility, flexibility and confidence in movement and engagement in life.
Create a team of dedicated specialists!
Parkinson’s affects each person in many ways – changes in emotions (depression, anxiety, apathy); changes in thinking (speed, multitasking) and changes in movement. Be sure to have a team of professionals surrounding you to support your journey and who can work together to maximise your function and slow the progress of symptoms. Consider a Neurologist, a Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse, and a Physiotherapist specialising in Parkinson’s disease. It’s always worth asking if there is a GP in your practice who has a specialist interest in Parkinson's as this can be very helpful.
Stay on top of your medications
Having the optimal dosage of the right medications can make a significant difference. Provide feedback to your medical team (Neurologist / Parkinsons Nurse) and if you experience any changes in symptoms, speak up. Ask about the changes. Only you really know what you’re experiencing. Communicate with your medical team so that they can tailor your medications to work best for you.
Are my symptoms too mild to need Physiotherapy?
If you are newly diagnosed or have mild symptoms this can be the perfect time to start an exercise programme. Research shows that the earlier in the disease you intervene, especially with high-intensity exercise, the more likely it is you can delay the progression of motor symptoms (Corcos, 2017).
Include exercise as part of your treatment
Exercise is perceived as the most positive avenue towards disease modification (Mak et al 2017, Lauze et al 2016). This means that exercise is very important for people with Parkinson's and is as important as taking your medicine. The type of exercise is also important and should include high-intensity exercise which gets you puffing, as well as strength, speed, balance, flexibility, coordination and endurance. This can feel daunting, especially if you haven’t exercised for a while. It is never too late to start exercising. Research shows that people with Parkinson's disease who regularly exercise have an improved quality of life and mobility. Furthermore, people with more advanced Parkinson's benefitted the most from regular exercise (Journal of Parkinson’s Disease – March 2017). Exercise with professionals who have specific training and background in Parkinson's will ensure that you have the optimum program to give you the best results.
Thinking and movement are connected - Practice!
Do you have trouble walking and talking – or doing two things at once – like walking and text messaging? Coordinating two things at once is often more difficult for people with Parkinson's. Practice doing two things at once. Walk and count backwards by three’s out loud. Combining physical and cognitive activities helps to enhance neuroplasticity (which is the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life).
Hydrotherapy can be very helpful
Exercise in water can be very helpful with Parkinson's and it is recommended by local Parkinson’s Societies (Bracknell and Reading). The buoyancy of the water makes exercises easier and it’s a great way to improve flexibility, strength and fitness. Hydrotherapy can be especially useful for people with movement restrictions who find exercises on land more difficult. At Thorpes Neuro Rehab we offer specific Hydrotherapy sessions for people with Neurological conditions.
Find a Specialised Physiotherapist to show you how
You’ll want to have a specialised Physiotherapist as a member of “your team” for years to come. This skilled Physiotherapist is trained in areas such as neuroplasticity and has the expertise to address the areas of your mobility that have been affected by Parkinson's disease. Specialised professionals who understand Neuroplasticity can develop a personalised exercise program that specifically benefits a person living with Parkinson's and can provide the best results to maximise function and slow down the progress of symptoms.
At Thorpes Neuro Rehab we are fortunate to currently have highly specialist Neurological Physiotherapists who are very experienced at working with people with Parkinson’s.
So, there you have it, a few things you can implement straight away to help you with your diagnosis of Parkinson's and help you stay mobile, active and independent.
If you would like the chance to speak to one of our specialist Neurological Physiotherapists, then please call 0118 391 5055. You might have many questions right now and want to know more about what services we offer and if we could possibly help you. This call is a great way of obtaining more information and starting a relationship with Thorpes Neuro Rehab.
Specialist Neurological Physiotherapist
About the author
For over 20 years, 1000’s of people have consulted Hannah Smith and her award-winning team of Neurological Physiotherapists looking for answers about how to stay more mobile, and active and maintain independence, whilst living with Neurological conditions.
We make every effort to ensure that we accurately represent the condition, advice and prognosis displayed throughout this Guide.
However, examples of conditions and their prognosis are based on typical representations of those conditions that we commonly see in our physiotherapy clinic. The information given is not intended as a representation of every individual’s potential condition. As with any condition, each person’s symptoms can vary widely and each person’s progress can also vary depending upon background, genetics, previous medical history, application of exercises, posture, motivation to follow physio advice and various other physical factors.
It is impossible to give a 100% complete accurate diagnosis and prognosis without a thorough physical examination and likewise, the advice given for the management of a condition cannot be deemed fully accurate in the absence of this examination from one of the Chartered Physiotherapists at Thorpes Neuro Rehab.
We are able to offer you this service at a standard charge. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your condition. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied in this report.
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