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Other Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help you manage the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Physical therapists can teach you exercises to do on your own, or you can attend regular physical therapy sessions.
Physical therapy can help you:
  • Increase your strength
  • Decrease rigidity
  • Develop flexibility
  • Improve your stamina
  • Optimize coordination
  • Learn about fall prevention
  • Delay progression of disease
Occupational therapy can help with fine motor skills and writing. In addition, modifications to the living environment can assist in enhancing mobility, independence and safety.
Tai chi has been shown to improve postural stability and decrease falls in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Movement strategy training has been demonstrated in small studies to improve quality of life, walking, balance and overall function, but requires persistent and continuous application in order to maintain benefit.
Speech therapy has been suggested as a method to assist in improving hypophonia, and studies have demonstrated improvement over several years, provided treatment remains ongoing.

References

Alonso-Frech F, et al. Exercise and physical therapy in early management of Parkinson disease. Neurologist. 2011;17(6 Suppl 1):S47-53.

Parkinson disease. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Parkinsons%20Disease.aspx. Updated 2005. Accessed August 22, 2012.

Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn’s Current Therapy 2002. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002.

Li F, et al. Tai chi and postural stability in patients with parkinson’s disease. NEJM. 2012;366:511-519.

Parkinson Disease. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/parkinsons%5Fdisease/parkinsons%5Fdisease.htm. Accessed August 22, 2012.

Parkinson's disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated June 6, 2012. Accessed August 22, 2012.

Complementary therapies. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation website. Available at: http://www.pdf.org/en/managing%5Fpd. Accessed August 22, 2012.

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