Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, balance, and coordination due to the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) aims to improve mobility, balance, flexibility, and overall quality of life for individuals with Parkinson’s.

John Smith, a 46-year-old male (he asked us not to use his real name), was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement control.

He experienced symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia (slowed movement), and postural instability. These symptoms significantly impacted his daily life, limiting his ability to perform activities of daily living independently. It exacerbates with prolonged sitting or standing.

Additionally, John was experiencing neck and shoulder blade pain, resulting from altered posture and muscle imbalances associated with Parkinson’s disease. He demonstrated reduced arm swing and shuffling gait, which affected his balance and mobility.


Our approach to physiotherapy for Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is not curable, but it can be managed well. We usually use physiotherapy in addition to other modalities such as dopamine-related medications, Botox (botulinum toxin) injections for dystonia (involuntary contractions of a muscle), and checkup appointments with a neuro specialist.

Our assessment

Upon assessment, Mr Smith’s upper and lower limb movements were noticeably restricted, with decreased range of motion and muscle strength. His posture was stooped, with forward head posture and rounded shoulders. The neck and shoulder blade pain was exacerbated by poor posture and muscle imbalances. Our functional assessment revealed difficulties in activities such as dressing, grooming, and walking independently.




  • Improve upper and lower limb mobility and function.
  • Alleviate neck and shoulder blade pain.
  • Enhance postural alignment and stability.
  • Promote independence in activities of daily living.


Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s treatment plan

Physiotherapy for Parkinson's

Exercise Therapy

In our physiotherapy for Parkinson’s plan we implemented a tailored exercise program focusing on flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Exercises target specific muscle groups affected by Parkinson’s disease, aiming to improve mobility and reduce rigidity.

Exercises include:

  • Range of motion exercises for upper and lower limbs.
  • Strengthening exercises for core stability and posture correction.
  • Balance training to reduce the risk of falls.
  • Gait Training: Utilize gait training techniques to address shuffling gait and impaired balance. This may involve:
  • Gait re-education to improve stride length and symmetry.
  • Use of assistive devices such as canes or walkers to enhance stability.


Manual Therapy

We performed manual therapy/massage techniques on specific muscles that are spasmed due to dystonia to minimise stresses around his neck and shoulders. including:

  • Soft tissue mobilisation to release muscle tension and trigger points.
  • Joint mobilisations to improve range of motion and reduce stiffness.


Education and Home Exercise Program

We spoke with John and his caregivers about how physiotherapy for Parkinson’s disease can help improve his symptoms as well as bout management strategies and home exercise programs. We provided guidance on maintaining proper posture and body mechanics to minimise pain and improve function.


Functional Training

We integrated functional training activities into therapy sessions to simulate real-life tasks and promote independence in activities of daily living. This included practicing dressing, grooming, and cooking activities with adaptive techniques.

Progress Monitoring

We regularly assessed Mr. Smith’s progress and adjusted the treatment plan accordingly. We also monitored changes in mobility, pain levels, and functional abilities to optimise outcomes.


Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s – Outcome

Through consistent physiotherapy intervention, after 2 months Mr. Smith demonstrated significant improvements in upper and lower limb mobility, posture, and pain management. His pain has significantly reduced, and he is now able to focus more on his work and have a better quality of life by being able to play with his children.

Under the advice of his neurospecialist, taking his prescribed medications, physiotherapy, and Botox injections his condition is maintaining well.

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