Parkinsons Rehabilitation Services

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the brain characterised by tremors, stiffness and rigidity, and slowness of movement (bradykinesia).

Different individuals ask different questions about physiotherapy and Parkinson's disease:

  • Individuals with Parkinson's disease want to know what physiotherapy has to offer, what to expect and how to access the service.
  • Consultants, GPs and other referrers to physiotherapy ask if the evidence supports referral to physiotherapy. They want to know when individuals should be referred, for what reasons, and how to go about referring.
  • Physiotherapists themselves want to know about the best evidence in relation to treatment approaches and service delivery patterns.
  • Researchers want to know how best to measure the impact of physiotherapy.

The knowledge base on physiotherapy and Parkinson's disease is expanding but because of the variety within it, in relation to research designs, treatment approaches and outcome measures used, there is difficulty synthesising results to inform practice.

What can physiotherapy offer to people with Parkinson's disease and their carers?
The purpose of physiotherapy in Parkinson's disease is to maximise functional ability and minimise secondary complications through movement rehabilitation within a context of education and support for the whole person

The core areas of physiotherapy practice in Parkinson's disease relate to gait, balance, posture (including range of movement) and transfers. Safe and effective performance in these areas is a basis for all activities undertaken in daily life.

Physiotherapists can offer assessment, monitoring, treatment and management, referral to other professionals and agencies, on-going support and information for both individuals with Parkinson's disease and their carers from diagnosis to the later stages.

When should people be referred for physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists may be involved with individuals at all stages of Parkinson's disease

Individuals may benefit from early referral to physiotherapy:

  • to address concerns about differential diagnosis e.g. early onset of postural instability
  • for assessment and monitoring to allow early identification of movement problems
  • to encourage participation in programmes designed to encourage general fitness through optimal conditioning of cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems - AMP'd our high amplitude exercise group specifically for parkinsons clients
  • education of LSVT programme and its benefits/stratagies.
  • for preventative management of the typical secondary complications such as learned non-use of affected parts of the body; postural, gait and transfer deficits; muscle weakness; joint stiffness; orofacial and respiratory dysfunction
  • to introduce movement strategies for use over the course of the condition
  • for education of individuals and carers about the physical management of Parkinson's disease, ideally within the context of a support group run with multidisciplinary colleagues
  • for monitoring of drug efficacy to optimise motor performance

In addition, in the maintenance and early complex stages, specific physiotherapy intervention may be required for musculoskeletal impairment; gait, falls and transfer difficulties; environmental assessment; the provision of aids and equipment; advice for carers about promoting movement and effective handling.

In the late complex and palliative stages, work with informal and formal carers to ensure optimal movement, positioning and handling to prevent falls and promote skin care, chest care, and nutrition may be required.

What locations are recommended for particular activities?
Physiotherapy in an individual's familiar surroundings is recommended to enhance skill transfer and retention of training.

Physiotherapy support to use local leisure facilities such as a swimming pool or gym can help bridge self directed (independent) therapy and self-managed exercise.
Physiotherapy services need to be flexible as factors such as hospital transport and work commitments can be a barrier to carer involvement in physiotherapy.

We at Rope Neuro Rehabilitation are able to provide specific Parkinsons management in the location best suited to the client.

Julie Rope is a certified LSVT BIG trainer as are many of the team and several members of the Rope Neuro Team are certified Nordic walking instructors which we have found to be a beneficial rehabilitation tool for Parkinson's clients.  See more about LSVT and/or Nordic walking on our site.

Join our High Level Parkinson’s Circuit training class with components of LSVT BIG

Julie/ Sarah/ Charlotte/ Lauren all LSVT registered.

AMPd 

Fridays at 11am- 12pm 

Cost: $30 per session or $135 for a 5 class concession

Contact Lauren Mason 

Lauren@ropeneurorehab.co.nz  or on 021 753 273

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