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Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder, causing progressive impairment in motor function. The disease usually occurs after the age of 50, and it is more prevalent in men than in women. The cause of Parkinson’s disease is still unknown; however, genetic predisposition and environmental factors are both considered risk factors.

Management of Parkinson’s disease is mainly centered on drug treatment and physiotherapy rehabilitation. Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s disease focuses on coordination, mobility, transfers, posture, strength, cognitive movement, and general physical activity to maintain and increase the patient’s quality of life.

Rehabilitation and exercise management for individuals with Parkinson’s disease can be challenging. Each patient responds differently to medication, which affects his or her ability to exercise. Commonly, all patients experience a significant decline in their ability to maintain independent living. Therefore, exercise training (in any safe form) is crucial, and it can lead not just to a better health state, but also to improved wellness. For most Parkinson’s disease patients, physical activity can be a life-changing platform.

Exercise Testing:

Before starting an exercise program, it is recommended to assess baseline physical function abilities which also allows measuring the rate of decline.

  • Pull test
  • Timed up and go test
  • Sit and reach
  • Reaction time
  • Gait speed
  • Tandem step test
  • Sit to stand

Approaches to exercise training for Parkinson’s disease:

  • Aerobic
  • Functional training
  • Resistance training
  • Flexibility
  • Neuromuscular coordination skill

*Other Physical interventions included hydrotherapy training. The combination of hydrotherapy and other land-based programs may be the best approach to improve balance and functional mobility in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

Adaptive physical activity programs in NYC: