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Parkinsons Disease- The Benefits of Physiotherapy and ACT

Parkinson’s Disease

At its simplest, Parkinsons Disease (PD) is a neurological disorder for which there is no known cure. The chronic disorder is one which causes a slowing of the body’s movement and changes in motor control. This is  a result of a lack of dopamine,  a chemical which helps instructions from the brain to move from one nerve cell to the next, in a section of the brain called the substantia negra, which controls movement.  Levels of this chemical diminish naturally as we age. It is only once we have lost about 80% of our dopamine that we begin to show symptoms of PD.

How Physiotherapy can Help Parkinsons

As mentioned there is currently no known cure for Parkinson’s disease but doctors can prescribe drugs which help to limit the symptoms. Physiotherapy can also be prescribed to help regulate motor control changes that are synonymous with the disease. Regular physical exercise with or without physio can be very helpful in the maintenance and improvement of mobility, strength, gait speed, flexibility and overall quality of life. However, when exercise programmes are executed under the guidance of a chartered physio, there are more improvements in motor symptoms, emotional and mental functions, daily living activities and quality of life in comparison to those where physio’s are not present.

Acceptance and Commitment Training

Living with Parkinson’s disease, or seeing a loved one experiencing Parkinson’s, can be very distressing. Acceptance & Commitment Training (ACT), can help to improve you and your loved ones quality of life. ACT provides benefits to those with Parkinson’s and indeed their loved ones by teaching valuable skills to help individuals manage thoughts and emotions more effectively. There is much research supporting ACT and how it helps people to live and enjoy life in the “here and now”.

For more information on Parkinson’s Disease or the PAI click here.