Physical Therapy and Exercise and Parkinson's Disease


Part of the early signs of Parkinson’s for me was this sense of energy flowing through my left arm, it felt like zaps of energy running around; like an electrical current that had no where to go. Therefore, in my mind I thought if this is excess energy and it needs a place to go, I would give it somewhere to go and so, started and exercise program using my hands, arm and wrists.

I began using an 8 lb. barbell that you usually attach weights to, but instead of adding weights, I just rolled the bar between my fingers, using my wrists to turn it inward and outward. In the beginning, my left wrist made a ratchet movement when I twisted the bar, and the longer I tried to make it turn the bar, the harder it became to hold it still. However, eventually my wrist became stronger and I was able to maintain the exercise.
I had already been actively working out on the treadmill, but found that my legs seemed to ache from walking, so I bought an exercise bicycle and began to ride it. I have also incorporated using an 8 lb. hand weight into the routine to maintain my arm strength and flexibility. Just recently, I have added some stretching exercises. In April when the weather got warmer, I began swimming.

You can Exercise

The one thing you have control over is what you can do with your body. New studies are being done right now, between the correlation of physical exercise and the effect it has on our brain.

Talk to your Doctor, make him aware of the studies being done right now. Do not wait to see if exercise does have a positive effect on the brain and they report it in the media. Start moving now. Start out doing whatever your body allows you to do. Start small and work up to doing something every day. Even if it is the smallest movement right now, keep doing it. As the saying goes in the PD world, Use it, Move it or Lose it. Read more about the study of exercise and the brain and Parkinson's Disease.

There seems to be more evidence proving the effectiveness of exercise for the Parkinson's patient.  Here is another site promoting exercise for the wellbeing of the Parkinson's patient.

Physical Therapy

Studies now being done show a correlation between physical therapy, exercise and the brain in Parkinson’s patients. It is my hope that with these studies, it will motivate Doctors to refer patients with Parkinson’s disease to Naturopathic physicians, physical therapist‘s, massage therapist’s, psychologist’s and nutritionist’s at the initial diagnosis of this disease. Therefore giving the patient a longer mobility; agility in their life along with a full support system in which to be encouraged in the long life that have in front of them.
For more information about the study being done at the University of Arizona by Becky Farley go to



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