Outpatient Rehabilitation Services

Multidisciplinary Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation Clinic

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, variable, neuro-degenerative disease that can cause both motor and non-motor symptoms. Disabilities can appear early in the disease, but exercise and rehabilitation, when initiated early, can help reduce the progression of its symptoms.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation services

Contact Rehabilitation Services

For more information, or to request referral forms, please call one of our locations.

Why Should Patients with Parkinson’s Get Therapy Early in the Disease?

With an early assessment of a newly diagnosed patient with Parkinson’s, our multidisciplinary team can help them understand the disease, prescribe an exercise program to their specific needs, and work with them to develop strategies to maximize independence, reduce the progression of symptoms, and improve the quality of their life. 

Should I Be Seen by the Rehab Team Even If I Am Not Newly Diagnosed?

Yes! Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neuro-degenerative condition, which can lead to new challenges that necessitate proper management. It is recommended that individuals living with the disease follow up with their rehab providers every six months to a year for checkups to optimize their symptom management. 

What Is the Multidisciplinary Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation Clinic?

The Multidisciplinary Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation Clinic provides outpatient rehabilitation services for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Our clinic helps people with Parkinson’s disease progress toward their rehabilitation goals. Patients work with a multidisciplinary team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists to improve their physical capacity, ability to perform activities of daily living, speech and swallow function, and self-management strategies. 

  • The Newly Diagnosed Multidisciplinary Clinic provides a comprehensive examination of individuals newly diagnosed with the disease. 
    • Individuals will receive evaluations from physical therapy (PT), occupation therapy (OT), and speech and language pathology (SLP).
    • Patients need to be referred by their general neurologist or movement disorders neurologist to be seen in the clinic. 
  • Lifespan Outpatient Rehabilitation Services also specializes in the evaluation and treatment of individuals living with the disease at all stages. 
    • Patients can be referred for separate services of PT, OT, or SLP, depending on their specific needs. 
    • Patients may ask their physician for a referral for the necessary services but will not be seen by all three disciplines at the same time. 
    • Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that every patient’s team of specialists communicate with one another throughout their treatment for the most effective and coordinated care. 

Physical Therapy for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Getting an early start on physical therapy (PT) helps restore and optimize a person’s movement within the context of a person’s musculoskeletal, neurological and cognitive abilities to return to meaningful activities in their life. However, it is never too late to start working with a physical therapist, and regular six-month to yearly follow-ups optimize management of the condition.  

A physical therapy program may include aerobic, strength, balance, gait, and task-specific training to help reduce progression of symptoms.

  • Physical therapy can help patients:
  • Improve balance.
  • Increase walking speed and endurance.
  • Enhance independence with functional mobility.
  • Establish an exercise program. 
  • Accomplish goals, overcome barriers, optimize self-management of the disease, and connect with community resources.

The Parkinson’s LSVT BIG Program

Based on the concept of Lee Silverman Voice Treatments LOUD, the Parkinson’s LSVT BIG program is an intensive therapy that focuses on improving amplitude (degree of movement) and speed (when walking and doing other activities). This is one treatment method for treating individuals with Parkinson’s. You and your therapist cab determine if it is right for you. 

Occupational Therapy for People with Parkinson’s Disease

Through occupational therapy (OT), patients with newly diagnosed Parkinson’s will learn to maximize participation and engagement with meaningful, everyday life activities.

An occupational program may include problem solving to match one’s strengths with daily activities, interests, and provide ways to adapt and modify movement to achieve everyday goals. 

Occupational therapy can help patients:

  • Improve their ability to maintain independence.
  • Increase hand coordination through individualized fine and gross motor planning programs.
  • Improve upper extremity mobility and strength to slow progressive symptoms and take part in activities of daily living and leisure activities.

Speech-Language Pathology for People with Parkinson’s Disease

People with Parkinson’s experience changes in speech and swallowing that can progress throughout the disease course. Speech-language pathology helps address these symptoms so patients can continue to be independent in their daily life and enjoy their regular activities.

A speech-language pathology program may include:

  • Assessment of speech, language, cognition, swallowing (dysphagia), saliva control.
  • Development of a personalized plan of care which may include:
    • Speech/voice therapy: Evidence-based programs for people with PD, including Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) LOUD, Maximum Performance Therapy, SPEAK OUT!, aimed at increasing intelligibility and functional communication.
    • Cognitive rehabilitation: A behavioral approach to maintain and improve cognitive skills and increase quality of life for those with PD-related cognitive dysfunction.
    • Swallow rehabilitation: Dysphagia management can be compensatory or rehabilitative in nature; the latter is focused on restoring or improving underlying swallowing physiology.
    • Development of home exercise programs to maintain function.
    • Education and caregiver support.

Speech-language pathology therapy can help patients maintain or improve current function. Therapy at a later stage of the disease may focus on compensating for functional deficits as the disease progresses.

Learn more about outpatient rehabilitation services at Lifespan

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