The Parkinson disease is a chronic neurologic disorder, neurodegenerative, which, in Spain, affects 2% of the population over 65 years old. Actually, it is the second most common degenerative disease, after Alzheimer. It is characterized by a progressive deterioration of the Central Nervous System that implies a decrease and slowness of the movements, muscular stiffness, shaking and postural instability. In this sense, physiotherapy plays a fundamental role in the improvement of the quality of life of these patients, allowing them more autonomy.
Physiotherapy will specifically help the patients to maintain their agility, fighting against the ankylosis of the joints, teaching them how to maintain the balance and avoid falls. They are exercises to improve their march, their posture and also to help them turn while they are in bed, to stand up from a chair and all the everyday activities that are usually carried out automatically. More specifically, the exercises and guides that physiotherapists recommend are mainly based on:
- Controlling the breathing (abdominal-diaphragmatic and costal)
- The general body mobility (active, active assisted, active resisted, passive range of movement, etc.)
- Relaxation techniques (progressive muscular relaxation, autogenous training, breathing and imagery)
- Aiding the normal process of walking: learning techniques to overcome blocking
- Dealing with balance. Reinforcing balance reaction while in motion or in static situations.
- Postural changes (chair, bed, standing)
- Guidelines on the use of technical aids
- Reinforcing the corporal diagram
- Stimulating the coordination
- Dealing with the reflexes
- Developing manual ability
All in all, physiotherapy is a healthcare discipline which offers a non-pharmacological therapeutic alternative to palliate the symptomatology related to Parkinson. Actually, the aim of physiotherapy is to act when the human being has lost or could potentially lose, temporarily or permanently, movement and physical function.