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physical therapy and parkinson's


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#1 thlthl

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

I have been undergoing physical therapy for the past 3 months. It has done wonders to help my gate and coordination. I don't even have to look for my cane and have learned so much about the disease from an incredibly knowledgeable and thoughtful staff. I was diagnosed in March 2007 with Parkinson's disease. One thing I learned is that I am right side dominant. When I did certain exercises I noticed my left leg or arm just went along for the ride. On the leg press, I would remove my right leg to isolate this leg which was pretty obvious, but I did the hand bike last week and noticed the same thing with my right arm pulling all the weight. I started alternating from 1 minute right and 1 minute left arm...the therapist wasn't sure if this was a good idea. I also started thinking about the stationary bike I use at home - and focus now on making sure both legs are working. Is this a good idea or should I just do the exercises?

Also, do you know of any home exercise video's for PD patients?

#2 Dr. Okun

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:37 AM

This is very good. Many therapists focus on making both sides operate closer to "equally." This is how dancers are trained (so that one side is not dominant.

As far as specific therapy, there is a program called BIG, but there are also several resistance programs, exercise programs, resistance training, Tai Chi and others. Feel free to contact NPF on the 1800 helpline to discuss.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips

#3 thlthl

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:56 PM

Thank you for taking the time to read my question and the answer. I have been using exercise videos on Netflix and XBox which have been very helpful. I have talked with other people with Parkinson's about body parts going numb while exercising. At about 20 minutes on the recumbant bike, my left leg will lose feeling and then it will go to the right side. The same thing occurs when doing push-ups on about # 20 on my left arm and shoulder. The limbs feel like they are asleep. I keep performing the execise, but I don't feel the body parts. Also while making sure I swing my right arm at therapy both hands and arms went numb and turned purple. I also experience considerable swelling.

My neurologist just says it is age. My circulation and heart have been checked out and are ok.


thank you again

T.H. LaRose

#4 Dr. Okun

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:14 AM

Another suggestion is to do the actual exercise in the presence of a physical therapist so that they can check your form and see if there is something going on when you get numb.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips

#5 thlthl

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:33 AM

It was the physical therapists who noticed the swelling and discoloration while exercising. I was only aware of the numbness ascpect. I first became aware of the left leg while using an eleptical machine at the gym back in 2009. I tried other cardio machines and felt the same sensation. When I began physical therapy a few months ago it happened while doing 30 minutes of various balance/coordination exercises. The therapist sat me down and told me to have my doctor check out the swelling and discoloration. They lab work showed excessive sodium in my blood (30%). I don't consume a heavy amount of salt and my cholestrol is really good. The people at the Parkinson's support group said they had never experienced any of those symptoms during exercise. Though I was younger than anyone with PD at the support group. I am 44 years old. I have an appointment with my neurologist in June and the therapists are watching my closely, though they don't adhere to the "No pain, No gain" philosophy that I have always used. Once again thank you for taking the time to read and answer my inquires.

Treva LaRose (T.H. LaRose)











T.H. LaRose

#6 Dr. Okun

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:51 PM

Thank you.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips




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