About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder that affects approximately one million individuals in the United States and approximately 60,000 individuals are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic progressive disease that is caused by a loss of dopaminergic cells in a part of the brain called the Substantia Nigra. Dopamine acts like a messenger in the brain that can help coordinate movements and if it is lost, it will impair both motor and non-motor systems.

Motor impairments include but not limited to: Tremors, Rigidity, Bradykinesia (slowed movement), and postural instability.

Non-motor impairments include but are not limited to: Cognitive changes, fatigue, speech and swallowing problems, breathing difficulties, sleep disorders, depression, and visual changes.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

The exact cause is currently unknown and there currently is no cure for this disease. It is thought that environmental factors, as well as genetics, can contribute to the cause.

Physical Therapy Helps with Parkinson’s disease

Physical therapy is extremely important for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as exercise and movement help to prevent the progression of the disease.

  • Exercises – To promote improved balance, energy, strength, improved quality of walking, target “freezing”, moving around the house, and helping with community tasks.
  • Physical Therapy techniques – Our physical therapist may recommend various forms of exercises, manual therapy, and other modalities to help treat pain.
  • Lifestyle advice – Our physical therapist can recommend individualized tips for further management of Parkinson’s disease, addressing fall risks, home exercise programs, physical activity routines, and any other questions one might have.

Our physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation with tests and questions to develop an individualized treatment plan to help you stay as independent as possible. Your program will include exercises, recommendations, and education on how to manage and improve your quality of life.

Contact our physical therapists to learn more about Parkinson's Disease and the benefits of physical therapy treatment in the Jackson, Wyoming and Alpine, Wyoming area.