Karen Hull on Parkinson’s

Parkinson Awareness Week 11th – 18th April

I’m sure everyone knows someone who has Parkinson’s.

As Billy Connolly famously once said “I’ve got Parkinson’s Disease… and I wish he’d kept it to himself”

There are already 145,000 people living in the UK with Parkinson’s and every hour they believe 2 more people are diagnosed with the disease.

Sadly Parkinson’s is a progressive lifelong condition. For most people it does not change their life expectancy but it can lead to increased disability in later life.

The most common movement symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor, rigidity (stiffness) and slowness of movement but very importantly every persons experience of Parkinson’s is personal to them – symptoms vary from person to person and how the condition affects someone can change from day to day.

It may not be easy to remain positive but physiotherapy can help direct your efforts into keeping well and active. It is really important to understand Parkinson’s and find ways to work around it in order to get the most out of life.

This is where specialist individualised physiotherapy can really help. Advice and education offered in the early stages maintains general fitness, minimises deterioration and promotes self-management.

We all know that exercise is good for you, but in the early stages of the disease 2.5 hours of exercise per week can slow the progression of your symptoms. But what exercise? There is a growing body of evidence that intensive, high–effort, complex exercise works best. A specialist physiotherapist can show you what you need to do to relieve your symptoms. Trust me it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Helping you stay independent

In the later stages, physiotherapy can help improve your walking helping you to stay independent. Physiotherapists can help improve your confidence and reduce the fear of falling – a fear of falling often makes a person’s balance worse. We can teach techniques to help you get down safely to the floor and up again. Working with the people who help care for you their burden can be reduced too.

Offering help and support at all stages of the disease

Normally people think of physiotherapy as a short burst of treatment, emphasis with Parkinson’s is much more about helping you to manage your own condition. Specific problems can be addressed in therapy sessions and then it may not be necessary to see the client again for a number of weeks.

Here at Physio and Therapies it’s about building a relationship with the emphasis on one that works for you.

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