Dr. Susan Coote is a neuro physiotherapist at Mid West Physiotherapy, Limerick, and specialises in physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Disease.
What Is It?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that affects people’s movements. It is caused by a decrease in a chemical called dopamine in the body. It is not known why some people get this drop in dopamine. People with Parkinson’s may have a tremor; difficulty walking, stepping or balancing; or slower movements. Some people experience “freezing” or “festering” gait, especially when first standing or in tight spaces.
How Can We Help? (what treatments are involved)
The aim of physiotherapy is to improve your strength, mobility, movements, balance, and gait. Treatments may include supervised and unsupervised balance exercises, falls prevention and home exercise programmes.
Benefits of Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Disease
Physiotherapy has been shown to help with walking speed, endurance, and freezing of gait for some people with Parkinson’s. Research has also shown some people’s balance and mobility improved with physiotherapy. A lot of research has created Parkinson’s-specific programmes that physiotherapists use to help people. Physiotherapists can also help with tips and strategies to help with other symptoms of Parkinson’s, and the possible side effects of medications.
What to Expect
At the initial appointment, a physiotherapist will ask you questions to learn more about you and what your goals are. These might include questions about your diagnosis, past medical history, falls history, and current situation. A physiotherapist will also ask what activities you like and your goals will also be discussed. We may also assess things like your strength, walking speed, balance, and flexibility. This will help guide your individualised treatment plan. You may be given a home exercise programme to complete.
If you would like to find out more physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Disease, we would be delighted to help you. You can make an appointment with Dr. Susan Coote by booking on-line, ringing our reception on 061-201444, or contacting us by email.
Source: Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews