A physiotherapist will focus on managing the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s in order to keep you in the best possible physical condition. They will help you maintain your muscles and control movement through teaching you exercises tailored to your individual needs.
Physiotherapy plays an increasingly important role in the treatment of Parkinson's and can include strength and stretching exercises, as well as strategies to prevent falls and maintain independence in daily activities. It makes sense to start regular physiotherapy as soon as possible after diagnosis.
The key aims of physiotherapy in Parkinson's are:
- to maintain and improve functional ability and independence
- to correct and improve posture and balance
- to minimise the risk of falls
- to allow strength and flexibility to be maintained
- to enhance daily activities (getting in and out of bed, rising from a chair)
- to maintain a safe walking pattern (with or without mobility aids)
- if freezing is evident, coping strategies such as auditory or visual cues may be taught
- to improve manual activities (reaching and grasping)
- to maintain respiratory function through breathing exercises
- to teach relaxation techniques
- to educate carers.