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How is rehabilitation used to treat Parkinson's disease?

Steven A. Meyers, MD
Diagnostic Radiology
Rehabilitation can be used in several different ways. Physical therapists work on walking and balance and can teach patient's exercises to lessen stiffness. Occupational therapists can help with fine motor skills and work related issues. Speech therapists can assist patients with speaking or swallowing difficulties.
Physical, occupational, speech, swallowing, and nutrition therapy can all help people with Parkinson's disease maintain function over time. Rehabilitation experts will:
  • Evaluate muscle strength and motor skills and develop an individualized program to maintain existing motor function.
  • Improve the volume and clarity of speech, to improve communication.
  • Evaluate swallowing function, and teach safe swallowing techniques.
  • Recommend devices including neck supports, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs and equipment for the home to ensure safety and mobility.
  • Discuss ways to modify activities, conserve energy, and simplify work.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.