Recently, 77-year-old entertainer Neil Diamond cancelled the rest of his tour and announced his retirement. The singer stopped touring due to an unexpected diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.
The neurodegenerative disease is associated with decreased levels of the neurotransmitter Dopamine, and affects regions of the brain that control movement. This causes the muscles to shake and freeze making daily activity difficult.
Because he led a healthy lifestyle and has continuously toured throughout his career, Diamond’s diagnosis came as a surprise to his band mates. However this is not unusual: symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease generally develop slowly over the years depending on the person. Age is also a huge factor with the development and progression of Parkinson’s Disease. Most people who develop Parkinson’s are over 60, with men being affected twice as much as women. Symptoms can include:
NJ Spine and Wellness has trained Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers who have successfully helped patients with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease with customized treatment plans. Proper treatment with physical therapy can include:
Neuromuscular Education – Due to Parkinson’s effect on regions of the brain that hinders movement, the therapist will incorporate different exercises, such as 1-on-1 balance training, that will help restore natural function to the muscles and vestibular system.
Gait training – Physical Therapists use different means of equipment such as the Alter-G Anti Gravity Treadmill to help re-learn proper walking and movement patterns.
Boxing – This is an exercise that isn’t conventionally considered as treatment for neurological conditions. It is especially beneficial for patients with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s as it strengthens muscles and nerves that have been previously weakened. It can help with: coordination and balance, upper extremity strengthening, eye coordination, reaction time, and more.
ADL (Activities of Daily Living) – A therapist or medical professional should always ask about your lifestyle and activities you do on a day-to-day basis. This will best help to customize your treatment plan and get you back to your usual routine. Whether it’s doing your laundry, lifting up your son/daughter, or simply planting outside in the garden, we create custom care plans that are specifically designed to get you back to being you!
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and want to get back to his or her daily life, call to make an appointment now!
– Shruti S.