Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy

Parkinson’s Disease

By Ashlyn Cramer, DPT

Balance Mobility and Aquatic Therapy Center

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, incurable, neurodegenerative disorder that causes deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech, and sensory functions. Until a cure is discovered, individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) require skilled medical services to preserve independence and safety with daily tasks.

Optimizing quality of life can be achieved through specialized physical, occupational, and speech therapy services. These therapies can improve postural (PD often results in stooped posture) and gait abnormalities (shuffling is common with PD), weaknesses, increased fall risk, muscle rigidity, fine motor skills, vocal production, swallowing safety, and general fatigue - all impairments related to Parkinson’s Disease. More than 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, Nebraska has the highest per capita incidence of Parkinson’s in the world. As difficult as this diagnosis can be, there is hope for individuals fighting Parkinson’s Disease.

At Balance Mobility and Aquatic Therapy Center, we are committed to helping this population within our community. We provide treatment specialized for PD including the LSVT Big and Loud programs, through certified Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Therapists. We also have therapists trained in Delay the Disease, Rock Steady Boxing, and Certified Fall Prevention Specialists who can aid in optimizing safety and quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Rock Steady Boxing is a community exercise program that has been proven to improve people’s quality of life while “Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s.” It is a non-combat boxing program that incorporates strengthening, agility, balance, and cardiovascular exercises to specifically target deficits related to Parkinson’s Disease. Classes combine stretching, fine motor skills, boxing activities, and are adapted to accommodate individuals within various stages of this disease. Participants have shared success stories including improved mobility, reducing fall risk, and improved quality of life through socialization and friendships formed with others who are fighting this disease as well. All coaches are certified through an in-depth Rock Steady training program, ensuring that all instructors are equipped with knowledge of the complex symptoms that can present in this disease and have the training to appropriately adapt exercises to safely target each boxer’s ability level and needs. If you are ready to “take a swing” at improving your Parkinson’s symptoms, we are ready to help you achieve your full potential.

I serve on the Community Action Committee for the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s and continue to advocate for those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease here in our community and in central Nebraska.

Skilled, one-on-one therapy can provide the education, understanding, and skills needed in order to ensure enhanced strength, independence, safety, and quality of life for those who battle Parkinson’s Disease. Interested in starting therapy, or, more information? Please contact our clinic at 308-398-2170 and ask to speak to a PD specialist today!