Finding out that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease can be devastating. While you may feel that quality of life will suffer dramatically after a Parkinson's diagnosis, rehabilitative therapy can help you overcome this assumption.
Here are three ways that rehabilitative therapy can specifically benefit Parkinson's patients.
1. Physical therapy can improve trunk strength.
Working with a physical therapist who specializes in treating patients with Parkinson's disease can be a great way to maintain strength through your body's trunk. Core strength has been linked to substantial improvements in overall strength and reduced stiffness in Parkinson's sufferers.
A rehabilitative therapy program that focuses specifically on improving trunk strength can also be beneficial in improving your posture and balance. Since posture and balance can impact your mobility, keeping a strong core helps you ward off the sedentary lifestyle in the future that is commonly associated with Parkinson's disease.
2. Rehabilitative therapy can improve communication.
Many people who suffer from Parkinson's disease find that their opportunities to engage in social situations are curtailed by their limited ability to communicate. As the disease progresses, speech can become a challenge, so engaging in a rehabilitative therapy program that focuses on communication can help you ward off depression and isolation in the future.
Working with a speech therapist as part of your rehabilitative process allows you to maximize your ability to communicate with those around you and allows you to learn new ways of communicating that don't interfere with the progression of your disease.
3. A good therapy program can keep you mentally healthy.
The psychological effects of a Parkinson's diagnosis can be difficult to manage without professional help. Along with the loss of motor skills, tremors, and impaired speech that come with a Parkinson's diagnosis, many patients find that they must battle anxiety and depression as well.
Research shows that there may actually be a link between anxiety and Parkinson's, with Parkinson's patients often exhibiting signs of anxiety disorders up to 20 years before other aspects of their disease become present. Working with a mental health professional as part of your rehabilitative therapy will allow you to stay mentally healthy while you battle your disease.
Rehabilitative therapy services play a vital role in the physical, social, and emotional health of Parkinson's patients. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, ask your doctor or talk with a rehabilitation care center, such as Hillcrest Nursing Center, for help designing a rehabilitative program that will allow you to retain your independence and well-being for as long as possible.