By Dr. Michael Fuentes
One of the most important things to do while living with Parkinson’s disease is to stay active and engage in some sort of physical therapy. Research shows that a combined focus on medical management and intensive rehabilitation can dramatically improve function and quality of life in individuals living with Parkinson’s disease.
The biggest challenges faced by those living with Parkinson’s disease are movement, balance, speech, and depression. Staying physically active when newly diagnosed with the disease may help to address these challenges.
Some enjoyable ways to stay active include:
- Couples dancing – like the tango or the waltz
- Boxing classes
- Tai chi
- Water aerobics
The key is to do activities that challenge the heart and lungs. Choose exercises that continuously change tempo, activity, and direction so that your body can be constantly moving and shifting in different ways. That being said, try to avoid exercises that keep you stationary; such as riding a stationary bike, weight lifting, and walking on a treadmill.
Since Parkinson’s is a progressive, debilitating disease, medication compliance is extremely important. Medications delivered in a timely manner maximize the functional benefits of aggressive therapies and minimizes the impact of possible medication side effects.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health provides research publications that show evidence to suggest that non-compliance with medications results in poor response to therapy and can even increase direct and indirect health care costs. Therefore, having a strong focus on medication management and intensive rehabilitation for those living with Parkinson’s disease can drastically improve their movement, balance, and overall quality of life.
Board-certified in physical medicine & rehabilitation, Dr. Michael Fuentes is the Medical Director of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. The hospital provides specialized rehabilitative care to patients recovering from disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. For more information, visit CCRH.ernesthealth.com, call 361-906-3700 or visit the hospital at 5726 Esplanade Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital provides specialized rehabilitation services to patients recovering from or living with injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. The hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its Stroke Rehabilitation program. For more information, visit CCRH.ernesthealth.com.
5726 Esplanade Dr • Corpus Christi, Texas 78414 • (P) 361.906.3700 • (F) 361.906.3797