The Benefits of Physical Therapy: Parkinson’s Disease
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali (diagnosed in 1984) and actor Michael J. Fox (diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s in 1991) might be the most visible Parkinson’s patients, but nearly 1 million Americans suffer from the chronic and progressive movement disorder. Treating the cardinal motor and non-motor symptoms involves cueing (a training exercise that helps reduce shuffling and freezing while walking) to help with walking and balance issues, resistance strength training to offset shrinking muscles, and strategies to help minimize tremors. “Physical therapists also play a vital role in exercise prescription to potentially assist with slowing down the disease progression,” Says Dr. Elizabeth Ulanowski, a Neurological Clinical Specialist who focuses on movement disorders.
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