What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition.
It is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.
Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Exactly what causes the loss of nerve cells is unclear. Most experts think that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible.
What are the types of Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinsonism is a term that covers several conditions. This includes Parkinson’s and other conditions with similar symptoms such as slow movement, rigidity (stiffness) and problems with walking.
There are three main forms of parkinsonism:
- idiopathic Parkinson’s – this means the cause is unknown.
- vascular parkinsonism – affects people with restricted blood supply to the brain. Sometimes people who have had a mild stroke may develop this form of parkinsonism.
- drug-induced parkinsonism – some drugs can cause Parkinsonian symptoms but this is rare.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
There are many potential signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s and each person can experience them differently. Not everyone will experience all of the symptoms.
The more common symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
- Tremor (shaking) – an uncontrollable movement that affects a part of the body, for example, the hand.
- Rigidity (stiffness) – Muscles can become stiff and inflexible which can cause muscle cramps, pain and problems with balance.
- Bradykinesia – slowness of movement
- Mild memory and thinking problems
- Sleep problems
- Mental health problems including anxiety and depression
How can physiotherapy help?
At NT Rehab we are a team of neurological physiotherapists who have many years of experience in treating people who experience the effects of Parkinson’s.
Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s disease can help by:
- Providing personal exercise programmes to maintain or improve fitness, strength, flexibility and balance
- Advice on daily living tasks and how to make these easier
- Gait re-education and advice on appropriate walking aids
- Advice on falls prevention
- Techniques and advice to reduce pain
Where do we cover?
NT Rehab offers specialist physiotherapy across a wide geographical area, including:
- Sutton Coldfield
- Leamington Spa
- and surrounding areas
Want to know more?
If you or a loved one is affected by Parkinson’s Disease and is in need of specialist physiotherapy in the Midlands, get in touch with us today.
Some of Our Specialist Physiotherapists …
Venu is a senior physiotherapist with 25 years of experience and specialises in neurological rehabilitation including Parkinson's disease.
He has specialist skills including strength training and motor re-learning strategies, 24-hour postural management and hydrotherapy.
Venu covers Rugeley, Cannock, Walsall, Lichfield, Aldridge, Burton-upon-Trent, Derby.
Clair is a highly skilled neurological physiotherapist with over 20 years’ experience. She is an enthusiastic advocate for ensuring that those people affected by neurological deficits, including Parkinson's Disease, are provided with high-quality, evidence-based and highly specialist care throughout their recovery.
Clair has undertaken extensive post graduate training to develop specialist skills including functional electrical stimulation, hydrotherapy, splinting, Bobath training and spasticity management.
Clair covers Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Lichfield, Tamworth and the surrounding areas.