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Parkinson’s Disease

The Physiotherapists at On the Go Physio have a wealth of experience in working with people with Parkinson’s disease, including being the first service in New Zealand to offer the LSVT BIG programme. We offer set programmes to help improve movement and mobility or can look specifically at whatever issues you may be having.

Early stages of Parkinson’s

The physical changes in Parkinson’s disease (PD) happen slowly over time. When you are first diagnosed you probably have one or two symptoms but are still active. You may still be working full time or living an active retirement. In these first years it is vital that you are actively working towards maintaining your physical health and fitness and that any exercise programme you are doing is geared specifically towards the problems you can encounter with PD. On the Go Physio can design a programme with you and check in with you as often or as little as you like. This is also an ideal time to consider LSVT BIG.

The ‘first fall’

One of the 4 motor signs of PD is a change in balance although this does not usually occur in the early stages. The first indicator is falling over or losing your balance, usually when you are out and about. This ‘first fall’ is an important time to seek help. Without intervention that one fall can lead to a loss in confidence and a gradual restriction in your activity. This in turn lead to a slow deterioration in strength and further deterioration in balance causing more falls or a very sheltered existence in which a person tends to stay home where they feel safe. On the Go Physio can help you break this cycle before it starts by offering you a thorough assessment of your balance and an exercise and activity programme which focuses on your specific issues.

Freezing of gait – the mind is willing but the body stays still

Freezing is a common experience later in the Parkinson’s journey. This is the experience of being ‘stuck’ when getting up from a chair, wanting to walk but not being able to get started or walking along and having your feet suddenly stop dead. This can lead to huge frustration and can also cause a person to fall. On the Go Physio can offer a full assessment of your movement difficulties and teach strategies to overcome freezing. The strategies used will depend on each individual. Some people may benefit from the Cued Up! Exercise Programme.

Short shuffling steps

Over time Parkinson’s disease causes all movements to be smaller, including the steps you take when walking. On the Go Physio can put in place a programme to help improve this.

Later stages

If you have had Parkinson’s for some time you may find you are depending more and more on your family or spouse to provide you with physical assistance. On the Go Physio can visit with your family and teach them the safest ways to help you move, and some handy tips for coping at home.

LSVT BUG programme

LSVT BIG is a specialised program designed just for people with Parkinson’s disease and offered by On the Go Physio (the only team in Canterbury to offer this). It is an intensive program with proven results which involves 16 sessions over 4 weeks.

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We are here to help you at your place with your physio needs. Contact US today and we can come up with a plan that works for you and your needs.

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On The Go Physio