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Therapy, combined with treatment, has many benefits for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Exercise, whether individual, group or physical/voice therapy, is a daily necessity for Parkinson’s patients.
People with chronic conditions and movement disorders, such as early onset Parkinson's disease, often find physical therapy can improve strength and flexibility and decrease pain and stiffness. Physical therapy is becoming an essential part of many Parkinson's disease treatment plans. More and more studies show how beneficial exercise is to Parkinson's patients to help slow the progression of the disease as well as aiding in physical and cognitive functions.
It’s recommended that Parkinson’s patients exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week or 20 minutes a day. The activity can be something as simple as getting in and out of a chair, to as complex as an aerobics class. The exercise level should be catered to the patient’s needs.
Mercy’s physical therapists offer free exercise classes that combine skill-based exercises with aerobic exercises. Exercise is not just a temporary solution. It’s a lifestyle change. If you have not exercised before, please consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Tips for Exercising:
Speech therapists can help Parkinson’s patients maintain communication skills and help teach language techniques that can conserve energy and help with swallowing issues that may arise.
The Lee Silverman Voice Therapy Program (LSVT LOUD), a speech and voice therapy that was specifically developed for people with Parkinson’s, has proved significant value for patients. Our speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are certified in providing the LSVT LOUD program. Research demonstrates an improved impact on multiple levels of functioning in people with PD following LSVT LOUD treatment, including:
LSVT LOUD treatment consists of 16 sessions, 4 consecutive days a week for 4 weeks. Each session is 1 hour, and you’ll receive daily homework practice as well as daily carryover exercises.
Our SLPs are trained in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders, such as:
A swallowing program may include:
Check out our LSVT loud group.
Chair exercise is focused on maintaining physical mobility. It incorporates exercises to help stretch and maintain mobility in your joints. It also incorporates singing to help maintain strong vocals. The class is free for participants. View class schedule.
Meinders Center for Movement Disorders partners with PWR!4Life to provide a comprehensive exercise and wellness program for Parkinson’s patients. PWR!’s research on Parkinson’s informs this program. The program optimizes the brain to slow the disease progression. Mercy’s PWR! Classes are taught by certified therapists trained in applied, evidence-based methods of treating Parkinson’s patients.
What do PWR! exercises look like?
During the hour-long classes, the certified therapists will focus on four foundational movements that help improve everyday mobility.
The goal of PWR! exercises is to improve:
The PWR! is another way for our patients to feel and become empowered and not constrained by their disease.
Free community class to help maintain mobility and vocal strength. Check the online calendar for class times.