Parkinson's disease (PD) most often develops after age 50. It is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly. Sometimes Parkinson's disease occurs in younger adults. It affects both men and women.
In some cases, Parkinson's disease runs in families. When a young person is affected, it is usually because of a form of the disease that runs in families.
Nerve cells use a brain chemical called dopamine to help control muscle movement. Parkinson's disease occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages. This leads to the loss of muscle function. The disease is progressive and with Physical Therapy, it is proven to help slow the symptoms of the disease.
- Slow blinking
- Difficulty swallowing
- Problems with balance and walking
- No expression in the face (like you are wearing a mask)
- Muscle aches and pains
- Movement problems, which include:
- Difficulty starting movement, such as starting to walk or getting out of a chair
- Difficulty continuing to move
- Slowed movements
- Loss of small or fine hand movements; writing may become small and difficult to read; eating becomes difficulty
- Rigid or stiff muscles, often beginning in the legs
- Shaking, called tremors
- Usually occurs in the limbs at rest, or when the arm or leg is held out
- Goes away when you move
- Eventually may be seen in the head, lips, tongue, and feet
- May be worse when tired, excited, or stressed
- Finger-thumb rubbing (pill-rolling tremor) may be present
- Slowed, quieter speech and monotone voice
How can Physical Therapy Help?
b>At Metro Physical Therapy, we use principles from BIG exaggerated movements for strengthening and increasing balance. We have neurological expertise in slowing down the progression of symptoms associated with Parkinson's Disease.