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5 Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask a Physical Therapist About Parkinsons Disease

If you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease and are considering physical therapy as a treatment option, it’s completely okay to have questions. Keep reading to get those questions answered!

1.What's the Difference Between Tremors and Dyskinesia?

Tremors and dyskinesia are two movement disorders that can affect a person’s ability to control their movements. While they may share some similarities, there are also some important differences between the two conditions.

Tremors are a type of involuntary movement characterized by rhythmic oscillations or shaking of a body part. Tremors can occur at rest, during movement, or both. They are often most noticeable in the hands, but can also affect the head, voice, and other parts of the body. Tremors can be caused by a variety of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and other neurological disorders.

Dyskinesia, on the other hand, is a broader term that refers to a group of involuntary movements that are not tremors. Dyskinesia can involve a range of movements, including writhing, twisting, jerking, and chorea-like movements. Dyskinesia can be caused by a variety of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and medication-induced movement disorders.

It is worth noting that tremors and dyskinesia can sometimes occur together or overlap. While tremors and dyskinesia are both movement disorders, they are distinct in terms of the type and timing of the movements involved. If you are experiencing any involuntary movements, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

2. Are There Ways to Help my Medication Work Better?

Yes! There are several things that can help improve the effectiveness of Parkinson’s medication such as:

  1. Monitor medication effectiveness: Keep track of how well the medication is working by noting the symptoms and the times when the medication is most effective. This information can be helpful when discussing medication adjustments with your doctor!
  2. Avoid high-protein foods: High-protein foods can interfere with the absorption of certain Parkinson’s medications, such as levodopa. Try to avoid high-protein meals when taking medication or take your medication at least 30 minutes before eating.
  3. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve the effectiveness of Parkinson’s medication. Exercise can also help manage symptoms such as rigidity, tremors, and balance problems.
  4. Get enough sleep: Poor sleep can worsen Parkinson’s symptoms and decrease the effectiveness of medication. Try to establish a regular sleep routine and make sure to get enough restful sleep each night.
  5. Manage stress: Stress can exacerbate Parkinson’s symptoms and decrease the effectiveness of medication. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.

Taking medication for Parkinson’s disease is an important part of managing symptoms and improving quality of life. By following these tips, you can help maximize the benefits of medication and live a healthier, happier life with Parkinson’s disease.

3. How Long Does it Take to See Results?

Physical therapy is a key component of managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, with the goal of improving mobility, reducing pain, and enhancing overall quality of life. However, the length of time it takes to see results after starting physical therapy depends on the person! The specific timeline for seeing these benefits can vary depending on the individual’s response to treatment. For some people, improvements may be seen within a few weeks of starting therapy, while others may take several months to notice significant changes.

It is also important to note that physical therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Treatment plans are tailored to meet the individual needs and goals of each patient. The physical therapist will work closely with the patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific symptoms and challenges.

4. Should my Partner Come to my Neurology Appointments?

If you or your partner are wondering whether your partner should come with you to your neurologist appointments for Parkinson’s disease, the answer is: it depends on your personal preference and circumstances!

On one hand, having your partner come with you to appointments can provide emotional support and help you remember important details about your condition and treatment plan. Your partner can also help you ask questions, provide additional information to the neurologist about your symptoms, and provide their perspective on how your symptoms are affecting your daily life.

On the other hand, some people may prefer to attend appointments alone, or they may feel uncomfortable discussing their condition and symptoms in front of others, even their partner. Additionally, if your partner has their own medical issues or appointments to attend, it may not be feasible for them to come with you to every appointment.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to bring your partner to neurology appointments is up to you. If you’re unsure, it may be helpful to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your preferences and concerns. You can also speak with your neurologist about their thoughts on having a partner or caregiver present during appointments, as they may have specific recommendations based on your individual situation.

Remember, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and supported throughout your journey with Parkinson’s disease!

5. Can Parkinsons Disease affect my Organizational Skills and Memory?

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the brain, which leads to the characteristic motor symptoms of the disease, such as tremors, stiffness, and slow movements. However, as the disease progresses, it can also affect other parts of the brain that are involved in cognitive function, including memory, attention, and executive function.

Many people with Parkinson’s disease experience changes in their ability to plan, prioritize, and carry out complex tasks. This can make it more difficult to stay on top of everyday responsibilities like managing bills, keeping appointments, and completing household chores.

An Occupational Therapist can teach strategies and provide tools that can help individuals with Parkinson’s better manage their organizational tasks. For example, using a daily planner, setting reminders, breaking tasks into smaller steps, and creating checklists can all be helpful strategies!

At Living Well Balanced, we offer a wide range of fitness and physical health services from caring and experienced professionals. We provide personal training and Chiropractic care to assist our clients in their health and wellness management. You can make an appointment with one of our Occupational Therapists to learn how they can benefit you and or plan for injury recovery or prevention and chronic pain. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at 212-579-2858 or send an email to info@livingwb.com. Check out our blog for more information