Physical Rehab For Seniors With PD

by | Mar 14, 2013 | Health, Healthcare

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PD, Parkinson’s disease, is a chronic disorder that progressively causes a lack of movement or slowing down of the body. The disease may be accompanied by repetitive hand shaking and tremors while resting. These changes in motor control can affect many parts of the body. There is no cure for the disease, although symptoms can be limited with the use of medication and healthcare rehabilitation services. Physical therapy can help regulate the changes that take place with motor control.

As PD affects many different parts of the body, healthcare rehabilitation services may be part of a healthcare team, each with different disciplines. Other than the primary care physician and physical therapist, a speech therapist, occupational therapist or respiratory therapist may be called upon.

Changes observed in motor control:

Planning movement: A person with PD may have a difficult time in planning movement; the reaction time can be greatly diminished. This in itself can cause the patient to lose balance while walking, or, when unbalanced, not being able to react quick enough to avoid a fall by grabbing on to something.

There will also be changes in movement sequence. Activities that must take place with a specific step-by-step procedure may be hard for the sufferer of PD. A simple example is rising from a chair, the proper sequence is to move the posterior to the front of the seat, place your feet properly for rising and balance and then lean forward as you rise. The PD patient may not be able to do these motions in the correct sequence.

The ability to do two things at the same time may also suffer. Normally, walking and reaching for your keys in your pocket at the same time is not an issue, however, with sufferers of PD, the multi-tasking may be slowed to the point where the individual will have to come to a halt, then reach in the pocket and then begin walking again.

The sufferer of PD will also experience problems with:

1. Gait
2. Posture
3. Hand motions
4. Respiratory functions
5. Speech and swallowing

Intervention for these problems is often possible with healthcare rehabilitation services.

One of the most noticeable issues is the gait of a person with PD. A person may be walking and all of a sudden he starts to take small rapid steps. This festinating gait is the primary cause of loss of balance and subsequent falls.

It may also be difficult to begin the walking process. The part of the brain that is affected by PD is the motor planning area; this may make talking the first few steps difficult. The same thing may happen in reverse, a sudden freezing of movement may occur, it may last a few seconds and then walking can resume.

People with PD often benefit from healthcare rehabilitation services, the services help in improving coordination and movement.

As a proven leader in healthcare rehabilitation services, Functional Pathways can deliver outstanding services and programs to their partner’s facility and their residents.

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