• Barbara Oliveira

The Benefits of Physical Therapy in the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor capacity of the patient. Therefore, physical therapy is essential to help control movement disorders.


Parkinson is a chronic and progressive disease that causes the patient to have a significant decrease in their quality of life. Because it has very disabling symptoms, the condition impairs the performance of daily tasks, affecting the well-being, not only of the patient, but also of extending to caregivers.

The main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are tremors, slowing movements and muscle stiffness, especially in the trunk region, which bring important limitations in the patient's life, such as:

  • Decreased movement of the arms;

  • Difficulty getting dressed;

  • Loss of facial mimicry;

  • Decreased respiratory capacity;

  • Pain, especially in the shoulder and cervical region.

Postural instability is also a common symptom that interferes with the patient's quality of life, which now has:

  • Difficulty in balancing;

  • Difficulty changing postures (sitting/standing);

  • Higher tendency to fall.

In addition, the patient with Parkinson's disease may also manifest episodes of freezing, or freezing, a condition that prevents him from performing a simple action, such as getting out of an elevator.

Physical therapy for Parkinson's is a fundamental resource to alleviate the limitations arising from the disease. Physiotherapy is used as an adjunct treatment for medications or the surgery used in Parkinson's disease (PD). Rehabilitation includes motor exercises, gait training (without and with external stimuli), training of daily activities, relaxation therapy and breathing exercises. The goal is to educate the patient and family about the benefits of exercise therapy.

Physical therapy for Parkinson's disease plays an important role in the treatment of individuals with this disease, as it will provide an improvement in their general physical state, having as main objective the restoration or maintenance of function, encouraging the performance of activities of daily living independently, thus giving more quality of life.

The handling performed by stretching are excellent techniques in improving the mobility of the spine and tissues, maintaining upright posture, balance and maintenance of functional independence. Physical therapy has used rehabilitation programs and training to help mainly in the patient's physical capacity, in the gain of range of motion, balance, posture, self-

esteem, well-being and quality of life. In the studies found, most of them talk about multidisciplinary treatment, and the effects of physiotherapy have been proven when they are associated with drug treatment. And that depends a lot on the progression and stage of the disease.

As Parkinson's disease is progressive, exercise interventions should not be short-term, but become part of the daily lifestyle. Many clinicians and researchers believe that physical therapy should begin as early as the establishment of the diagnosis, to prevent muscle atrophy, weakness and reduced exercise capacity.

Scientific evidence proves that physical exercises and physical therapy can improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson's disease, improving balance, mobility, increasing muscle endurance, providing better quality of life, in addition to increasing cardiovascular protection, promotes neurogenesis and protective factors and brain growth, decreasing tremor and bradykinesia, decreases risk of falls among other motor impairments, improving self-confidence and quality of life.


Let us know what do you think?! Give us a comment and share to your friends, they may know someone that needs help.

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