Exercise is very important for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. The problem is that people who have PD (Parkinson’s Disease) need special attention. With PD, the neurological system isn’t functioning properly. Movement patterns are often very uncoordinated and rigid, and this is only one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The medical community has put most of its research into pharmacology (medications) to help alleviate the side effects of Parkinson’s Disease. While that is important, very little research has been done on the issue of how to improve and restore the PD patient’s motor skills. As a NeuroKinetic Therapist, I use NKT (NeuroKinetic Therapy) to help understand how muscles work and how the body moves in patterns. The kinetic Chain is joints and segments that affect one another during movement throughout the body.
When we are not moving properly, our nervous system tries to compensate and therefore often alters our movement patterns. This is called an imbalance. This can lead to pain, injuries, and postural problems. People with PD have tremendous imbalance due to their dysfunctional and degenerating movement patterns. If initiated in the early stages, NKT can help a person with Parkinson’s Disease.
Common issues of PD that NKT can help:
- Breathing is an often big issue for people with PD. Parkinson’s Disease affects the diaphragm. When the diaphragm is not working properly, a person has trouble getting air properly to their lungs.
- Loss of strength in the prime movers (large muscles) of the body, such as the back, quadriceps, chest, shoulders, arms, and calves. These muscles are responsible for movement. They are very important muscles for daily activities and active lifestyles.
- Poor reaction time can affect people with PD causing falls, slips, and accidents.
- Healthy functioning feet are very important and when we lose proper movement we start to compensate in our feet. This causes many dysfunctions in other parts of our bodies, such as neck pain, poor posture, balance and gait issues.
- One of the side effects of PD is stiffness and rigidity. Making sure people with PD that their muscles are working together as a unit.
- Loss of hand and grip strength is very common in people with PD. Poor hand mechanics can alter the shoulder, neck, and core stability. NKT assesses these dysfunctions and might clear many movement issues.
- Eyes have a connection with many movement patterns of the body. Many people try to compensate for movement with their eyes. Which can lead to many movement dysfunctions?
- Scars cause tremendous disruption with movement and pain. They rank very high with the NKT assessments. Scars down-regulate muscle tissue, facia, and the body’s proper movement patterns.
Have a fitness professional( corrective exercise specialist) along with an NKT practitioner can help a person with PD in many ways. The key to starting an exercise program is to know what your weaknesses and limitations are.
When starting a fitness or a physical therapy program. It is very important for a complete examination. Assessing the client with all past or current injuries. Movement issues, and pain.