Can Physical Therapy Mitigate Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating illness that can exert a profound impact on afflicted individuals. Parkinson’s disease has recently been brought up in media, former Black Sabbath lead vocalist John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne revealed his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis on Good Morning America on January 21. In this interview alongside his wife, Sharon Osbourne, the 71-year-old singer confirmed he was suffering from Stage 2 of Parkinson’s, citing worsened tremors and stiffness on his body.
In such a challenging state, what can people, afflicted like Ozzy Osbourne, take into consideration to mitigate this disease?
Biomotion Physical Therapy offers a brief discussion regarding the health malady and ways in which physical therapy might enhance life quality for those afflicted.
Parkinson’s Disease Overview
This ailment is a progressive neurological condition that precipitates the development of chronic uncontrolled bodily movements.
Manifestations of the illness are caused by the destruction and eventual death of neurological components known as neurons, sometimes simply referred to as brain cells. Said deteriorations are typically caused by reduced brain production and secretion of a hormone called dopamine.
Individual risk of developing the condition might increase if someone possesses specific genetic mutations, are exposed to various environmental toxins, are older than 60 and are male.
Symptoms may vary from person to person. However, the earliest untoward occurrences are often tremors that occur in an impacted limb. In many instances, said tremors only happen on one side of the body. As the disease advances, afflicted individuals may experience pronounced, uncontrolled tremors, mobility issues, extreme muscle stiffness, poor posture, slurred speech or difficulty swallowing, bladder or bowel problems, insomnia, cognitive function challenges, and depression.
The Potential Impact Of Physical Therapy
Currently, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, physicians often employ specific therapeutic protocols to potentially slow the ailment’s progression or, in other instances, alleviate accompanying physical manifestations. Such efforts include but are not necessarily limited to medications, brain stimulation, and surgery. That said, however, some patients have benefitted from physical therapy. Said form of treatment might provide the following benefits:
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease might experience difficulty moving their muscles. Over time, it could lead to muscle wasting, which can further complicate the problem. Those who partake in physical therapy exercise their muscles and ensure that said structures receive adequate blood flow. Said movement can also help muscles maintain the flexibility necessary to properly function and avoid injury.
Those with inactive or damaged muscles may experience stiffness and pain. Increased circulation and frequent movement improve blood flow, which might prevent incidents of rigidity and stiffness.
Promote Better Mobility
As the ailment progresses, many Parkinson’s patients experience significant mobility issues. Certain forms of physical therapy instruct stricken individuals how to perform movement techniques that might enable better movement and prevent idleness that could increase incidents of muscle stiffness, rigidity, and wasting. Moreover, individuals will enjoy an improved quality of life simply by gaining the ability to walk and shift their bodies when need be.
Improve Balance Problems
A lack of mobility combined with muscle weakness can ultimately lead to balance issues. Unsteadiness could precipitate injury-inducing falls. The muscle strengthening that might occur following physical therapy sessions can reinforce a patient’s balance and significantly decrease their risk of falls.
For diagnoses like Parkinson’s, it’s best to take it day by day and implement physical therapy exercises that will help mitigate any pain or discomfort. “There’s so many different types of Parkinson’s,” Sharon Osbourne said. “It’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it’s like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.” With physical therapy and Parkinson’s, the key is in daily routines.
“It’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body.”
Contacting Physical Therapists in the Schertz-Cibolo Area
Local residents with Parkinson’s disease who believe they could benefit from physical therapy are encouraged to contact us for a free screening. Our team of experienced professionals may be able to tailor an exercise plan that fits their needs and improves their quality of life.