I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, what do I do?
If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease this means you have seen your neurologist and started to develop a plan for your future. Whether you have started on medication or not there are a lot of actions you can take with your physical activity that has been clinically proven to help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. We like to call this physical medicine, while it is a lot more work than taking a pill, it actually has been scientifically proven that specific exercise can help to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease vs. just masking the symptoms with medication.
Now you know there is some action you can take. You need a plan! When you get a diagnosis like this you want to have someone who knows what they are doing in your corner. Luckily we do, and we are here to help you make that plan. At Wonsettler Physical Therapy we have therapists trained in the LSVT BIG technique. This is a high intensity amplitude based program that was specifically developed for people living with Parkinson’s disease. The program is 4 times a week for 4 weeks, not only do you perform high intensity exercises at the clinic but you repeat these exercises at home and continue them even when your journey with us is complete. This may sound daunting, but it is necessary in order to make a positive change in your physical health to help you battle this disease.
Your program will consist of a series of 7 exercises that challenge your balance, endurance, strength and awareness of your body. All things that are affected by Parkinson’s disease. This is followed by five specific exercises similar to what you do in your daily life, whether that is caring for your grandchildren, golfing or household chores like doing the dishes. It is our job to make these exercises individualized to your specific needs. This is followed by aerobic activity and tasks that incorporate multiple steps that you would encounter in your daily life.
Getting the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is something you never want or plan to hear.
Hopefully, after reading this you feel empowered knowing that there are actions you can take to help improve and maintain your mobility, and people here to help you do just that!
By Sara Ryan