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Parkinson’s Disease Treatment

Professionally reviewed by Renee Jones, PT, DPT, Manager, Outpatient Services and Maura Mickley, MS, CCC-SLP, on 05/23/2022.


It is estimated that more than 1 million people in the United States are currently suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is characterized by a loss of dopamine-producing brain cells which results in the four primary symptoms of the disease: tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and postural instability. Although the disease itself is not fatal, the complications of having this neurodegenerative brain disorder are serious.  Gait impairments and reduced balance are harmful complications of Parkinson’s disease since they increase the risk of falls. 

At the present time, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. The goal of all interventions is to treat the symptoms of the disease to keep quality of life as high as possible.  Outside of medication, exercise is the only other treatment option that can help elevate dopamine levels in the brain while also providing additional physical and mental health benefits. Research has shown that physical exercise is an effective intervention that can actually slow down the progression of the disease. 

At Good Shepherd, we know that each individual with Parkinson’s disease has unique abilities and medical needs. Here, we work with you to develop goals and the appropriate treatment plan to help you reach them.


Parkinson’s Disease Care Team

Our clinical staff brings a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to the patient care management of Parkinson’s disease. Patient-centered care is coordinated among physical medicine & rehabilitation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, and recreation therapy in collaboration with the referring physician. 

After a thorough evaluation and development of a plan of care, the treatment plan may consist of: flexibility and strengthening exercises; fitness (aerobic) activities; strategies to improve mobility, such as walking; strategies to improve self-care activities; handwriting; stress management; instruction in cognitive strategies; speech training in swallowing; and, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)- Big and Loud programs.

Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) BIG® for Parkinson’s Disease

Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) BIG® is an individualized therapeutic approach to help people with Parkinson’s disease recalibrate their movements by producing bigger motions.

Good Shepherd’s LSVT BIG certified physical therapists customize treatment plans around your specific needs. We craft individual goals to help with balance, getting up and down, dressing, job-related tasks and other activities of daily living.

LSVT BIG teaches you how to continue leading an active lifestyle.

LSVT BIG Difference

  • Trains patients to use bigger body movements
  • Drives intensity and high-effort practice
  • Translates bigger movements into real-world, everyday activities

Locations

Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) LOUD® for Parkinson’s Disease

Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) LOUD® is an individualized, evidence-based practice designed to improve speech for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It also can help with other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and stroke.

Good Shepherd’s LSVT LOUD certified speech-language pathologists lead the highly repetitious therapy program. It promotes neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to rewire neural connections and adapt over time.

Parkinson’s commonly affects people’s ability to communicate, which leads to soft voice, monotone or mumbled speech. Often, there is a disconnect between how loud you believe you’re speaking and how you sound to others.

With LSVT LOUD, patients learn how to maximize their speech/voice production.

Locations

Rock Steady Boxing Program

Good Shepherd’s Rock Steady Boxing program features boxing-inspired, noncontact exercise training specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease. Led by certified staff, participants train on boxing equipment including heavy bags, jump ropes, gloves and focus mitts. Fight back against Parkinson’s.

Rock Steady Boxing Certified Coaches

  • Ryan Macalintal, MS, ACSM-CEP, an exercise physiologist and personal trainer at Optimal Fitness, Good Shepherd’s fully accessible gym
  • Nicole Weaknecht, PT, DPT, LSVT Certified

How to Register

To get started, call 610-776-3482 or email [email protected]. Or, contact us online.

Pete Costello, Rock Steady Boxing patient at Good Shepherd.

Contact Us To Get Started

For more information about Parkinson’s disease treatment at Good Shepherd or to request an appointment with one of our experts, call 1-888-44-REHAB or fill out the form below.

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