Helping patients with Parkinson’s disease stay active
Many people think of physical therapists as healthcare specialists that only focus on orthopedic injuries and rehabilitation. While generally all PTs are qualified to do that, many choose to specialize in related care, such as helping people with edema after treatment for cancer, working with older patients or patients in acute care, or focusing on patients struggling with a specific disease, like Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that can make daily movement and activities frustrating and time-consuming. PTs can play a vital role in managing the effects of Parkinson’s disease by helping an individual stay as active and as independent as possible.
Dr. Jory Davis is a physical therapist at Conshohocken Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania. Wanting to learn more about patients dealing with neurological degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimers, Jory became LSVT-certified in 2014, which enables her to work specifically with Parkinson’s patients on improving movement and coordination.
The LSVT program is built upon the principles of neuroplasticity; high-intensity and high-amplitude movements are practiced in therapy and then learned for the rest of the patient’s life. The goal of the program is to teach patients how to manage Parkinson’s in order to further functional independence.
Throughout the month-long LSVT program, Jory leads her patients, struggling with Parkinson’s symptoms, on a journey to relearn how to create normal movements. She becomes a partner with her patients and their families, helping them combat and manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
As with the treatment of any physical therapy patient, Jory adjusts the treatment program as the patient’s condition changes, in order to help them be as independent and as active as possible. She explains, “It’s rewarding when I’m able to provide the skills to patients, enabling them to change their movement, their confidence and their outlook toward life. It is powerful to be able to affect the quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease.”
If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Davis and her program for Parkinson’s patients, Conshohocken Physical Therapy will be hosting a seminar, “Parkinson’s Disease and the Role of Physical Therapy,” on Monday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. For more information or to reserve a seat, email Jory at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the clinic at 610-828-7595.
||Dr. Jory Davis is a physical therapist at Conshohocken Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania. She completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Neumann University in 2014, as well as her LSVT certification from LSVT Global. She has clinical experience in acute care, intensive cardiopulmonary care, geriatrics and outpatient orthopedics.
For further information, look through our selection of articles on living with disease, in addition to the below links:
Dr. Davis having success treating patients with Parkinson’s. Conshohocken Physical Therapy, January 27, 2015.
Bauer, Amber. Spotlight on: Physical therapists in oncology. American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), September 23, 2014.
Practice areas. American Physical Therapy Association.
Patient resources. LSVT Global.