Parkinson’s disease is a chronic movement disorder that causes tremors, stiffness in the limbs, and problems with balance and coordination. About 60 percent of people with the disorder fall at least once a year, which can have consequences ranging from serious injury to a fear of being active.
Promising news for those suffering with Parkinson’s disease comes from a new study published in the December 31, 2014, online issue of Neurology. This clinical trial revealed that exercise may help improve balance, ability to move around, and quality of life for those dealing with Parkinson’s.
The study participants consisted of 231 individuals with Parkinson’s disease who either received their usual care or took part in a partially supervised exercise program of 40 to 60 minutes of balance and strengthening exercises three times a week for 6 months.
Compared to those in the control group, the number of falls by participants who exercised was reduced in those with less severe Parkinson’s disease by as much as 70 percent. The results of this study were not as significant for those with advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, which highlights the importance of intervention earlier in the disease process. Additionally, those with a more severe case of Parkinson’s disease may require an approach with greater supervision unlike the program that was conducted in the current study.
If you or a loved one is suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s disease, Physical Solutions can help. A supervised exercise program designed by one of our licensed physical therapists can assist you in achieving an improved quality of life and reducing your risk for falls.