I recently joined Advanced Rehab Centre in late August 2012 as a senior neurological physiotherapist. I have been amazed at the different techniques we use in our management of Parkinson’s disease. I have had the pleasure of working with some people with Parkinson’s disease and have had great results that I wanted to share.
‘Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal’ Goal setting is an important part of your initial assessment in order for your therapy to have the best outcomes. The therapist’s objective in this process is to establish how to best meet your needs. It also allows treatment to be focused on measuring your improvements or progress.
Throughout my working life I have been continually amazed by the families and carers I have come across. Their level of care and commitment to their spouse/child/friend/loved one is often awe inspiring. However I am also often extremely concerned for the wellbeing of the carers, their devotion to their sick or disabled relative often comes at the expense of taking care of themselves and I find myself advising that “you have to take care of yourself because if you get sick who will care for your husband/wife?”.
Studies have looked into neurophysiological and neurochemical activity in the brain and have shown that beliefs and expectation can effect the regions of the brain involved in perception, movement, pain and emotion processing considerably. Self belief is confidence in your own abilities, but how important is self belief?
If you had asked any of the ARC therapists two years ago how they feel about treating newly diagnosed Parkinson’s clients, chances are the response would be a shrug, a sigh and a despondent – “What can I do with them?”, and the patient would get a response of “Come back when you have more problems”. Physiotherapy was based around maintaining general strength, movement and fitness. As the disease progressed we would use balance training to help prevent falls, and compensatory visual or auditory cues to help overcome freezing. All in all, not very inspiring or proactive....... how things have changed!
When Mr X presented to ARC his goal was to improve his mobility. On further questioning he revealed that he had made many changes in his life to accommodate for tasks he found difficult. He had fitted a handle in his car to assist him on getting in and out. Mr X wore silky pyjamas and used silky sheets on his bed to help him turn in bed, he used an electric tooth brush, had elastic shoe laces, mostly avoided shirts with buttons and his loving wife cut up his meat, assisted with buttons and helped with dressing and grooming tasks.
Nordic Walking is superior in improving gait pattern and style and postural stability compared to normal walking. This is an important result as gait changes are a significant primary symptom of Parkinson's disease and changes can lead to increased risk of falls and reduced mobility resulting in reduced quality of life.
There was an article published yesterday in the online edition of Nature Communications’ by researchers in the Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Centre. Asa Abeliovich, MD, PhD, the lead researcher and his colleagues, have identified a potential cause of non-familial Parkinson’s disease. The significance of this is that further research may be developed to prevent or slow the cause of this neuron destruction, as well as to design a blood test to detect the disease before clinical symptoms present.
Oscar Pistorius, the South African runner who is a double amputee, made Olympic history in being the first amputee runner to compete in both games, winning the Paralympic 400m gold, and making the summer games semi-final. The wheelchair rugby was a huge hit amongst the crowds – the only sport with not just a physio on the sidelines but also a welder!