Parkinson's Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the midbrain- a part of the brain that controls essential movement, blood pressure, and bowel function. Symptoms vary from person to person, but often Parkinson's Disease causes tremors, stiffness, impaired balance, rigid muscles, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. While there is currently no cure for Parkinson's Disease, symptoms can be mitagated with the use of medication or physical therapy.
Adjust your home environment to help prevent falls by:
- Removing lightweight furniture that topples easily
- Securing loose rugs
- Fitting long hallways and stairs with handrails
- Fitting bathrooms with grab bars and non-skid adhesive strips
- Ensuring that halls, stairways, and entrances are well lit
An individualized exercise plan can also help reduce your risk of falls. Talk to a physical therapist to find out what exercises are right for you.
Contact a physiotherapist to overcome challenges with being independent in your day to day activities. Physical therapy can help increase independence in areas such as:
Self-Care: Bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, self-feeding
Transfers: Standing up from sitting, getting in and out of the shower, moving in and out of the car
Mobility: Moving in bed, moving around the house safely, commuting in the community
Occupation: An individualized treatment plan can help address specific needs associated with your job.
There are many types of walking aids that can help you with balance, stability, posture and walking speed:
- Walking canes
- Urban poles - also called nordic walking poles
To find out which type of walking aid is suitable for your needs and how to properly use one, speak to a physical therapist.
Do you ever feel off balance or unable to control movements?
Physical therapy can help you increase your balance, strength and flexibility to do the everyday activities you enjoy. A physical therapist can create an individualized program that meets your specific needs, adressing:
- Muscle Strength
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Students from the School of Physiotherapy created printable info sheets and posters on this topic in partnership with SPA and the Parkinsons Society. A tri-fold pamphlet is available here. Click here for an 8X10" version of the info sheet. The posters can be viewed here: Poster 1, Poster 2, Poster 3.
For more resources on Parkinsons, visit the Parkisons Canada Website.