From our Health and Wellness Partners:
Penn Medicine Princeton Health: 609.497.2230
Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common degenerative brain disorder affecting adults. Although the exact cause of PD is unknown, family history, aging, or exposure to certain environmental toxins may contribute to the onset of PD. It is a chronic degenerative disease, which means that it gets worse over time. The severity and symptoms of PD can vary widely, and while people of all ethnic groups can develop PD, it occurs less among African Americans and Asians. People with PD are at increased risk of falling and sustaining other injuries due to their movement and balance challenges. Treatment includes a combination of medication and physical therapy. Physical therapists partner with people with PD and their families to improve their movement and improve/maintain their independence.
Symptoms of PD may include decreased sense of smell, fatigue, lack of motivation and lightheadedness when first standing up. These can begin many years before motor (movement) symptoms develop. Motor symptoms typically include muscle/joint stiffness, tremors in the hands and limbs, slowed movement, and balance problems. Commonly, people may notice a tremor in 1 hand, most often when at rest, which may look like you are rolling a pill between your thumb and forefinger. They can also occur in your legs or jaw when you are at rest and usually go away when moving. As PD progresses, people may notice smaller movements that result in shuffling when walking with less arm swing, a quieter voice, muscle stiffness, poor posture and/or balance, and a feeling of “freezing” while turning and/or walking.
How can Physical Therapy help?
Following a diagnosis of PD, your physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of posture, strength, flexibility, walking, endurance, balance, coordination, and quality of movement. She will then develop an individualized treatment plan to address your deficits. Fortunately, Penn Medicine Princeton Rehabilitation’s very own Esther Frasso, PT is a certified LSVT specialist.
LSVT BIG is an intensive, amplitude-focused physical therapy approach proven to be effective in the treatment of people with PD. LSVT BIG Programs have been developed and researched over the past 25 years with funding from the National Institutes of Health.
LSVT BIG has demonstrated improved motor function in people with Parkinson’s Disease including:
- Faster walking with larger steps
- Improved balance
- Increased trunk rotation
- Improvement in the performance of daily activities
It is a standardized treatment protocol that is customized to address the unique goals of each patient. www.LSVTglobal.com.
Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center (PMC) Princeton Rehabilitation is proud to offer LSVT BIG at South Brunswick Wellness Center. It consists of 16 individual one-on-one sessions delivered by your physical therapist who is certified in this method.
Most major insurances are accepted!
Call 609.497.2230 to schedule an appointment.