Over one million Americans aged 60 and older are currently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. With such overwhelming numbers it’s no surprise that many of the patients and their families feel as if they are not educated well enough on the disease they are fighting. Many aren’t even 100% certain as to what the true diagnosis of Parkinson’s means or what Parkinson’s technically is defined by.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder in which brain cells are slowly lost. The loss of these brain cells can create numerous symptoms. These symptoms can often actually be the first clues to the early onset of Parkinson’s.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
- Mood Changes
- Impaired Balance & Coordination
- Difficulty Moving (moving slowly, having issues with balance, decreased range of motion, and other movement issues)
- High Blood Pressure
- Cognitive Issues & Impairment
- Pain & Burning Sensations in the Extremities
- Difficulty or Inability with Handwriting
Parkinson’s disease symptoms can often be lessened with certain muscle stimulating and strengthening exercises performed by trained Physical Therapists. In particular utilizing a physical therapist for balance issues for fall prevention and safety, along with strengthening exercises for overall better health is highly recommended by physicians who specialize in “movement disorders.”
There currently is no cure for this debilitating, progressive disease. While research increases, especially with big name stars like as Michael J. Fox leading by example with his foundation, it is estimated that as baby boomers continue to reach their 60’s there will be more even more diagnoses.
Partners in Parkinson’s offers a multitude of information and downloads such as this Guide To Parkinson’s. They also offer an online locator for Movement Disorder Specialists which specialize in diseases such as Parkinson’s.
The Mayo Clinic is always a reputable resource online for information and explanations of many medical issues. They explain what Parkinson’s disease is, the symptoms, and even discuss treatment ideas.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) has a hotline available for those who need help in any way. The hotline is open Monday through Friday 9am-5pm Eastern Time. Along with the hotline they offer a multitude of information, including brochures, booklets, fact sheets, and a newsletter.
These are just a few reliable resources if you or someone you know may have or has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Remember that GO Physical Therapy & Wellness can come to you and help you focus on a better overall healthy life and work on many symptoms like balance issues and strength. We make it easier to get physical therapy regularly because we come to you, making your life better.
Dedicated To Your Health & Well-being (and safety),
Photo of Man by John Williams via Flickr - Free Licensing