Parkinson's Disease

At Metro Physical Therapy, we use principles from BIG exaggerated movements for strengthening and increasing balance. Our Physical Therapists have neurological expertise and with an evaluation, we can help with slowing down the progression of the disease.


About parkinson's disease

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.



Skilled rehab therapy consisting of physical and occupational therapy, coupled with a comprehensive Metro wellness program, are key components to preventing further decline due to Parkinson's Disease. Metro's therapists have advanced Parkinson's training which makes them experts in keeping our clients strong, active and independent. Metro's physical and occupational therapists work together to make sure clients can continue to participate in meaningful activities.

Physical Therapy for Parkinson's Disease includes a variety of therapeutic treatment forms including:

  • Gait analysis and gait training
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Stretching for improved muscle flexibility
  • Coordination training
  • Training in stair climbing

A physical therapy program can help a client with Parkinson's Disease to:

  • Prevent falls and "freezing"
  • Improve endurance
  • Improve coordination and smoothness of movement
  • Improve strength
  • Develop a daily exercise program




Occupational therapy for Parkinson's Disease incorporates the use of functional activities as part of the therapy process, including:

  • ADL training: dressing, feeding, bathing, grooming, hygiene, toileting
  • IADL training: leisure activities, social participation, caring for pets, participating in daily activities and routines
  • Balance training to improve participation in tasks
  • Training to manage tremors in the hands and upper extremities
  • Safety and fall prevention including "fall proofing" of home environments
  • Modification of tasks including recommendation of equipment, technology and adaptive strategies to improve independence
  • Transfer training to improve ability to get up from a chair or toilet seat as well as in and out of bed or a car.

An occupational therapy program can help a client with Parkinson's Disease to:

  • Prevent falls and improve safety at home
  • Improve coordination with tasks including buttoning, feeding and handwriting
  • Manage tremors during functional tasks
  • Continue to participate in social activities with modifications
  • Maintain independence at home with improved safety

LSVT BIG Program for Parkinson's Disease

The LSVT BIG Program is a specialized program that focuses on the unique movement impairments associated with Parkinson's Disease. The BIG Program uses repetitive and exaggerated movements to help improve gait, mobility, decrease "freezing" and other symptoms associated with PD. Clients who participate in the BIG Program attend 4 - one hour sessions per week for 4 weeks.


Parkinson's Wellness

Dance for Parkinson's


Metro is proud to offer dance classes based off of the internationally acclaimed Dance for Parkinson's Program of the Mark Morris Dance Group. Dance for Parkinson's promotes overall wellness and has both physical and psychological benefits. Researchers have studied the program to find:

• A 10.4 percent improvement from baseline
    in overall movement
• A 26.7 percent improvement from baseline in walking
• An 18.5 percent improvement from baseline in tremor"


Drumming for Parkinson's


Metro's Drumming for Parkinson's class incorporates repetitive and large movements which have proven to be successful components of a Parkinson's wellness program. This class focuses on rhythm and coordination in a group style drumming circle. The class is sure to be fun, drumming along to lively music with friends!



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