Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the area of the brain that produces the neurotransmitter dopamine. A reduction in dopamine levels in the brain can cause motor symptoms like tremor, involuntary movements, decreased coordination, stooped posture, and slow or shuffling gait. Other symptoms include soft speech, reduced facial expression, and small handwriting.
Strength exercises can help with activities of daily living such as rising from a chair or unloading the shopping. They also help correct stooped posture and abnormal gait patterns.
Balance exercises will help reduce the risk of falls and improve gait. Some examples are single leg balancing and hurdle or tandem walking. People living with Parkinson’s may consider tai chi or yoga for additional balance training. .
There is copious research detailing the benefits of amplitude-based training for Parkinson’s disease. High amplitude or high speed exaggerated movements help retrain neural pathways, essentially driving the brain to re-wire itself. They help increase coordination and slow disease progression.
As Accredited Exercise Physiologists we are able to assess your strength, balance, and functional capacity to create a tailored program that can slow disease progression and allow for improvements in function and quality of life.