top of page

Rehabilitation for Parkinson's Disease - How Therapy Can Help

Maintaining physical activity is a very important component in the management of Parkinson's disease and rehabilitation. With more than 60,000 Americans being diagnosed with Parkinson's every year, it's an important disease to be wary of, especially with aging adults and the impact on daily life. At Indianapolis Rehab Hospital, we offer a dedicated treatment team of therapists and specialists to help cope with this crippling disease.

People with chronic conditions like Parkinson's disease, whether early onset of the disease and even severe flare-ups, often find physical therapy can improve strength, flexibility and decrease pain and stiffness.

Physical Therapy

Most of us are referred to a physical therapist at one time or another. Whether you are experiencing disability due to pain, injury, or illness, physical therapists provide physical therapeutic intervention to prevent or minimize disability.

As we learn more about how beneficial exercise is to people with Parkinson's disease, physical therapy is becoming an essential part of many treatment plans. A physical therapist can help you develop an exercise and strength routine. Physical therapy can also help address specific symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease, such as balance and movement issues.

Rehabilitation therapy examples provide benefits in the following examples:

  • How to roll over and get out of bed more easily

  • How to rise from a chair or get out of a car

  • Our therapy team can suggest various equipment aides to also help with daily activities such as:

  • Shower grab bars to help move in and out of the shower

  • Shower stools to help weakened patients from Parkinson's bathe

  • Elevated toilet seats to transition from standing to sitting

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy addresses specific goals of daily living, even simple tasks such as dressing, eating, or cooking. Even people with serious tremors, slowness, or rigidity can use utensils and have some control over their life. As part of our rehab team, occupational therapists evaluate these kinds of difficulties, find solutions to improve your function at the highest level, and suggest modifications to your environment.

Speech Therapy

When most of us think of Parkinson's disease, we think of tremors or slowed movement symptoms. However, speech is impacted more than many think. Problems with speech, swallowing, and communication difficulties are challenges people face with Parkinson's. Often, the person doesn't even realize their speech and communication have been impacted until others ask them to repeat themselves frequently. Even non-verbal communication is affected. Referred to as "facial masking," people with Parkinson's disease may find that they cannot move their facial muscles, which can make them appear not engaged.

Speech Pathologists evaluate and treat these very difficulties that may have resulted from Parkinson's. Developing a program to help patients stretch and strengthen muscles involved in speech, expression, and/or swallowing by teaching coping strategies will make communication and swallowing much more manageable.

During inpatient rehabilitation from Parkinson's disease, the patient will have therapy at a minimum of 15 hours a week with their rehab treatment team.

Why Inpatient Rehab Works

Several research studies have shown that inpatient rehab provides better outcomes than skilled nursing facilities. Our rehabilitation hospital offers a variety of treatment plans for neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease. Our therapy teams have helped many patients cope and have higher-quality lives. At Indianapolis Rehab Hospitals, we are here to offer an individualized treatment plan for every patient that comes through our doors.

If you or a loved one has Parkinson's, give us a call at 463.333.9110. For more information on our rehab specific to Parkinson's, read more here.

111 views3 comments
bottom of page