While managing Parkinson’s Disease.
Roger is an older gentleman with Parkinson’s disease, a nervous system disorder that gets progressively worse as it affects movement, causing tremors, stiffness, and slowness of movement.
A few summers ago, Roger fell several times due to the progression of his Parkinson’s.
“While he wasn’t seriously injured, there was definitely a potential for his mobility levels to decline—or for him to fall and break a hip.”
Roger had attended physical therapy previously at a different business. He had been prescribed a home exercise program, and initially it had worked well for him. Then he began experiencing “exercise fatigue,” or a decline in the effectiveness of exercise.
This is normal for many people who try to carry out exercises at home. They don’t have the tools they need to keep adjusting their exercises to maintain progress, or to pause them to recover from strain.
We began working on getting Roger back on track. But that wasn’t all.
Roger asked us to help him set a goal: he didn’t want to fall.
One of our therapists happened to attend a course called “Exercise Can Change the Parkinson Brain,” hosted by Valerie Carter, DPT, NCS. Our therapist began using new exercises to help engage Roger in the ways recommended by Dr. Carter, including boxing, cognitive dual tasking, obstacle courses, and games with specific goals.
These Parkinson’s-specific exercises helped Roger align his physical and mental focus.
But would they help him prevent falls? Yes!
After we began with the new types of therapy, Roger passed a year without falling, and is still going strong. In addition to physical therapy, he also began to attend spin classes several times per week. His dedication to his overall fitness level only improved his condition. Between physical therapy and his spin classes, his wife reported more independence in his daily activities, fewer losses of balance, and no falls.
They even began riding their bicycles together again!