physiotherapy for parkinson's

Parkinson’s Disease: Lesser Known Facts

Lesser know facts about Parkinson's Disease

Are you facing sudden loss of balance?

Do you suffer from trembling in hands, legs, jaws and face?

Do you feel hardness or inflexibility in your body?

Are you experiencing sudden slowness in your normal body movements?

These are the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. If you are experiencing any of these above symptoms than you should visit a doctor for proper assessment, diagnosis and treatment. ReLiva Physiotherapy and Rehab center offer expert physiotherapy care to help you deal with all the above symptoms.

Physiotherapy can play a vital role in the management of parkinson’s disease. Physiotherapy treatment focuses on improving the movements of patients and increasing their physical capacity. Physiotherapy can help the patient to lead a normal life through transfer training and walking, balance and fall education and practice of various manual activities.

You can read this article in HIndi here

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder or a brain diseases. It’s not a fatal disease but it makes patients condition difficult to sustain.

Our brain controls our body, its functions and its movements. Brain sends messages to other parts of our body in the form of chemicals called neurotransmitters. It is found that reduction of Dopamine the movement planning and speed controlling neurotransmitter producing cells causes Parkinson’s disease. It also elicits some major symptoms that are used for diagnosis of this disease. These symptoms many times are unique according to age, environment and gender of patient.


Parkinsons disease can cause some (movement related) motor symptoms as well as non motor symptoms

A. Major symptoms that are used for diagnosis are motor symptoms(Movement Related)

  • Tremors of the hands, legs, jaw and face.
  • Change in facial expression, walking and body posture.
    tremors parkinsons disease
    Tremors is a symptom of Parkinsons


  • Loss of balance..
  • Slowness of movement(Bradykinesia)
  • Inability to move (This symptoms occur in the advance weakening stage)
  • Stiffness in limb and trunk

B. Some of the non motor symptoms are

  • Insecurity, stress and anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Excess Salivation and difficulty in swallowing
  • Weak sense of smell
  • Dementia, confusion and memory loss
  • Male erectile dysfunction
  • Skin problems
  • Slow, monotone voice and quieter speech
  • Urinary urgency

How is parkinson's diagnosed?

There is no specific diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease hence it is diagnosed on clinical measures. There is no blood test or brain scans available which can definitely diagnose this disease.

This disease is diagnosed if at least two or three major symptoms are present in patients such as tremors, stiffness or loss of balance. Usually these symptoms first start occurring on one side of the body

There are various medicines available which can reduce tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement and loss of balance conditions. Research and studies are going on to make new medicines which can halt the progression of this disease. If medications are found ineffective doctors may decide to go for brain surgery to improve the condition. But often it found dangerous hence surgeries are done only in rare cases as a last resort.


Alternative treatment for Parkinsons

Ayurvedic medicine is one of  the most popular alternative treatment of parkinsons disease. Ayurveda originated in India and is more than 5000 years old science. Ayurvedic medicines work along with special diet and designed exercises. Ayurveda uses special meditation practices, certain types of herbs, special massages and specifically designed exercises of joints and limbs to cure this disease. For example the herb called Mucuna pruriens  Indian name is Atmagupta, Kaunch, Kevanch may mimic the medicine Levodopa.


Parkinson's treatment

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease and its treatment is focused on managin the symptoms and delaying/ decreasing them with physiotherapy and medications. Doctor subscribe drugs only after noticing certain symptoms in patient. Physiotherapy on the other hand helps patients  to balance out movement difficulties. A physiotherapist also teaches basic activities like controlling muscles to do every day basic activities. A physiotherapy helps patients to get a healthy life style however they cannot cure the symptoms of this disease but they can definitely improve the condition of patients. It’s important not to rely on drugs as they have side effects and they also add toxicity to body.

With physiotherapy, exercises, healthy life style and diet its easy to deal with the Parkinsons disease symptoms and improve co-ordination and movement. Many of the symptoms could be reversed as one could see from this testimonial 

General population is not aware of Parkinson’s diseases. What is Parkinson’s disease? What are its effects and causes? We need to create awareness about Parkinson’s disease so people suffering from this disease get proper care and treatment. Many people are not well-informed about Parkinson’s disease symptoms; hence they tend to neglect the early warning signs. This further exacerbates patient’s condition and his endurance. It’s a complex disease which needs earnest crucial attention.  Right medication and therapies can improve the patient’s condition. On time help and certain Physical therapies have also shown great improvement in patient’s condition.


What causes parkinson's disease?

Theses disease is mostly found in old age people normally older than 60 years of age. Studies have found that Parkinson’s tends to affect more men than women in general. Individual who have family history of Parkinson’s diseases have found higher chances of inheriting this disease. Genetic or hereditary factors and environmental factors are mostly linked with this disorder. Exposure to toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, high level of environmental pollution, head trauma and illness also have been linked with this disease, however scientist have  still not identified the exact cause of this disease. Research is still going on to find the exact cause and cure for this disease.

People who are over 60 years of age generally suffer from this disease, but some  people have suffered from Parkinson’s disease symptoms at a very young age . In some unusual cases Parkinson disease symptoms are also found in children and teenagers. There has been alarming increase in number of patients belonging to young age groups in recent years.

The Parkinson's disease can tremendously affect professional as well as family life. At advanced stage, patient’s struggle every day to lead a normal life. The biggest help we can do for Parkinson’s disease patients is by giving them our support and patience.  It’s a complicated and complex disease which can take away freedom. It’s very important that we should know about Parkinson’s disease symptoms. This disease cause different effects on different individuals. Anyone suffering from Parkinson’s disease can improve his condition  by taking proper nutrient, adequate sleep, exercising and staying fit. Physiotherapy, surgical therapy, medication and other supportive therapies are used for parkinson's disease treatment. The aim of these  treatment is to try give patient normal  movement and control symptoms of disease.

Tips for patients

Patient suffering from parkinsons disease mostly feel vulnerable and hopeless they have to tackle with physical as well as mental changes in body. To stay active, positive and healthy patient can do certain things


A healthy high fiber diet which includes fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and protein will help to fight against this disease. Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants they are more effective than any supplements. A high fiber diet can help to prevent constipation. Which is common in parkinsons disease patients

Physical exercise

Regular exercise is must for Parkinson’s patients  It will help the patient maintain strength and flexibility and they can stay physically active for a longer period of time. Reliva Physiotherapy and Rehab center will help you with proper physical exercises which you can perform everyday to stay healthy and active. Regular physical activity and exercise is a must for this patients. Another way of staying healthy is gardening, jogging, swimming and running. There is a excellent exercise programs from Reliva available for patients with limited capacity or mobility. Many patients choose yoga or seating aerobics to stay healthy.

Exercise for parkinsons


Main symptom of Parkinson’s disease is problem with walking. This is due to loss of balance which leads to awkward gait. By learning proper walking and balancing techniques the risk of falls for the patient can be reduced. At ReLiva Physiotherapy & Rehab, our clinicians understand the need for a comprehensive treatment to ensure that Parkinson's patients and have a better quality of life.

Buying good walking shoes will help the patient to walk easily and prevent them from falling. Running shoes do not help if they have balance problems so needed to be avoided

Patient need to walk slowly with right posture. In the start it may look or feel awkward but in some days they will get better with their movements.



Parkinson’s affect the balance and co ordination centre in brain hence most Parkinson’s patient loose their balance and they fall more often. Patient need to improve and maintain their balance skills

  • Ask your physiotherapist for balance improving exercises
  • Taichi ancient Chinese martial art contain slow and graceful movements and help in relaxing muscle and joints, hence learning it can be effective
  • Remove rugs that may cause trips and falls
  • Install handrails throughout the home
  • Always keep phone within reach of patient, near the chair or bed is a good idea.

Ending Notes

At advance phase Parkinson’s patients need constant care and attention. It gets impossible for them to carry out every day normal activities, hence it would be a good idea to plan every day activities in advance and hire a professional care giver. An active day with enough rest and proper diet is must to keep the patient healthy. Care givers need to help the patient with everyday activities like brushing, bathing, using wash room etc. Taking care of Parkinson’s patient is a difficult task; family and care givers have to constantly check all the medical needs. Many times there are few people available nearby to help them as everyone have their own life. Appointing a care giver will make sure they will be well taken care of. Also its important that caregivers and patients learn as much about the disease - Parkinsons Foundation and Parkinson's society India provide useful information.

It’s important to give timely medication and care to the patient. Many times it’s difficult for patient to stand on their own hence they can miss their timely doses. A professional care giver can devote their time looking after the patient. It’s important to give them timely medication so their condition will not get grave. Many Parkinson’s disease patients are totally dependent on their family or care givers at times as it become very difficult for them due to trembling or losing control on their body. Many times people try to take care of their parents or elders suffering from Parkinson’s disease on their own but it takes a toll on their own health and their emotional and financial state. They suffer for their loved ones due to lots of responsibilities they find impossible to care for patients. It is helpful to appoint any professional care giver so you will not feel stressed, exhausted, frustrated or depressed about this condition. It’s very important to take care of family members emotions too.

A well trained professional care giver who can understand this disease and its symptoms and knows how to handle the patient as well as emotional and medical needs is very important. Every patient may have unique symptoms and temperament care givers needs to take care of emotional and physical needs. Giving utmost care, attention and dignity to patient is important to help them.

Regular doctor visit, communication and checkup is required to check  on patient’s condition. Care givers need to keep doctors updated about the condition and progression of this disease so they can prescribe right medicines. Maintaining records of all the reports in one place will help the doctor know daily and weekly progress in health.

We have seen what Parkinson’s disease is?, what are its symptoms? how to find right treatment, how to care for patients and tips for patients. It’s all very important for helping patient. Family, friends and patient need to stay positive and keep happy atmosphere. It’s a disease which may make you feel down but you can always search for positivity to stay happy. Yoga and meditation is one of the best ways to improve condition in a long run. This disease gives lots of challenges to tackle and can test patience of patients and also of their families.

physiotherapy for parkinson's

Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Patients

Physiotherapy involvement for Parkinson’s Disease is supported by a growing evidence base of high quality research and leading best practice guidelines1,2,3. Various benefits to patients of Parkinson’s, in a range of physical and quality of life measures have been identified through systematic reviews. Studies have also shown improved flexibility, strength, walking, balance and fitness in patients who participate in a physiotherapy program.

Physiotherapy at ReLiva for Parkinson’s disease focuses on the following:

  • Improving or maintaining fitness through exercise
  • Helping you to move about
  • Helping you to maintain independence in your daily life
  • Helping to prevent or manage falls
  • Maintaining or improving effective breathing
  • Providing pain relief

In the early stages of Parkinson’s, your physio can give you advice, education and support in keeping up your fitness levels and good posture to help you remain independent. As the condition gets worse, your physio may focus on your walking, posture and balance.

There are different types of pain which could be associated with Parkinson’s. These are :

  1. pain in the muscles and bones (musculoskeletal),
  2. involuntary muscle spasms (dystonic),
  3. primary or central pain nerve pain (neuropathic) and
  4. restlessness, or being unable to keep still (akathisia-related pain).

A physiotherapist can assess the pain and can then use methods such as manual therapy, heat, or cold, ultrasound to help relieve pain you may have.

ReLiva can provide the physiotherapy treatment at our clinics or by a visit to your home. We can provide advice on aids and equipment that you could use to make things easier for you.

1. Keus S, Domingos J, Rochester L, et al. European physiotherapy guideline for Parkinson’s disease [draft]. s.l.: European Parkinson’s Disease Association; 2013.

2. Tomlinson CL, Patel S, Meek C, et al. Physiotherapy versus placebo or no intervention in Parkinson’s disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;9:CD002817.

3. Allen NE, Sherrington C, Paul SS, et al. Balance and falls in Parkinson’s disease: a meta-analysis of the effect of exercise and motor training. Movement Disorders. 2011 Aug 1;26(9):1605-15.

parkinsons disease

What is Parkinson’s Disease ?

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the deterioration of nerve cells in an area of brain known as the ‘substantia nigra‘. When functioning normally, the nerve cells produce a chemical known as dopamine which serves as a chemical messenger allowing communication between the substantia nigra and another area of the brain called the corpus striatum. This communication coordinates smooth and balanced muscle movement. A lack of dopamine results in abnormal nerve functioning, causing a loss in the ability to control body movements.

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disease which progressively leads to by motor and non-motor problems. As Parkinson’s progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.


Diagnosis of Parkinson’s is usually based on clinical examination. People with Parkinson’s might present with falling, loss of confidence and independence and reduced quality of life The three main symptoms are :

  1. bradykinesia (slowness),
  2. rigidity (stiffness) and
  3. tremor.

In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression, or your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.

What causes Parkinson’s ?

Why Parkinson’s disease occurs and how the nerve cells become impaired is not known.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease also differ from person to person. The symptoms also change as the disease progresses. Symptoms that one person gets in the early stages of the disease, another person may not get until later-or not at all.

Symptoms typically begin appearing between the ages of 50 and 60. They develop slowly and often go unnoticed by family, friends, and even the person who has them.

What is the benefit Parkinson’s patient can expect with Physiotherapy ?

As the diseases progresses, the symptoms can get worse and it can become increasingly difficult for patient to carry out everyday activities. Many people respond well to treatment and only experience mild to moderate disability, whereas few may not respond as well and can, in time, become more severely disabled.

Parkinson’s doesn’t directly cause people to die, but it can make some people more vulnerable to serious and life-threatening infections. However, with advances in treatment, most people with Parkinson’s disease now have a normal or near-normal life expectancy.

Physiotherapy plays an important role in helping the patients manage the symptoms and the benefits to patients include:

  • Improving or maintaining fitness
  • Help in retaining independence
  • Help in movement/function
  • Managing fall risk and balance
  • Pain management

Studies have shown improved flexibility, strength, walking, balance and fitness in patients who participate in a physiotherapy program.

More about Parkinson’s

  • It’s thought around 1 in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease. An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease.


  • Most people with Parkinson’s start to develop symptoms when they’re over 50, although around 1 in 20 people with the condition first experience symptoms when they’re under 40 and men are slightly more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women.


Parkinson’s disease, in particular, can be profoundly frustrating, as walking, talking and even eating become more difficult and time-consuming. Although friends and family can be your best allies, the understanding of people who know what you’re going through can be especially helpful.

At ReLiva, we can provide the physiotherapy treatment at our clinics or by a visit to your home. We can provide advice on aids and equipment that you could use to make things easier for you.


Related Reading:

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Parkinson’s Disease: Lesser Known Facts

Falls of Seniors: What to do

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