What is Parkinson's Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition, resulting from the degeneration of dopamine-producing neurones in the basal ganglia, deep in the lower region of the brain. The role of the basal ganglia is to orchestrate the performance of well-learnt, voluntary and semi-automatic motor skills and movement sequences. Dopamine also contributes to other processes, such as maintaining and switching focus of attention, problem solving and decision making.
Hobbs Rehabilitation Parkinson's services cater for all aspects of Parkinson's including early stages or 'Young Onset' (age 21-50) where the focus is on neuroplasticity and bespoke challenging and engaging exercise programmes following latest research principles.
Other Related Services
Intensive Therapy Package
Evidence shows the most effective way to rehab is with high intensity; crucially the brain requires adequate repetition to get the most benefit from neurological therapy. A major principle in neurological rehabilitation is that task practice results in skill aquisition. This is known as neuroplasticity.
Our intensive programmes for patients with Parkinson’s include both physiotherapy and speech and language therapy and aim to inspire healthy lifestyle behaviours to help to maintain physical and psychological well being as well as to build knowledge about how to take control of Parkinson’s with a therapeutic approach.
It is never too early to learn the techniques/exercises to live well with Parkinson's; this programme is suitable for all people with Parkinson’s but in particular:
- Those newly diagnosed
- Those who have seen recent changes in their symptoms
- Those who have lost the focus of completing rehab on their own The intensive programme involves 4 sessions each of Physiotherapy and/or speech and language therapy for 4 weeks.
Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease
A variety of services for treatment and rehabilitation of both the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are available. Clinical guidelines suggest an interdisciplinary approach is key in the management of Parkinson’s, therefore we work very closely with other health care professionals.
As each individual responds differently to the condition, our specialised physiotherapists aim to individualise treatment. Some of the physiotherapy treatments we offer can help to:
- Reduce rigidity and improve posture through stretching and postural re-education
- Increase speed and amplitude of movements through muscle strengthening and mobilisation exercises
- Teach 'cueing strategies' which will help a great deal with the quaity of movement
- Increase mobility through assessment of different mobility aids
- Reduce muscle stiffness, spasms and pain through stretching programmes
- Reduce postural instability and balance problems through core stability exercises and balance training
- Reduce the risk of falls through balance work, gait re-education and strengthening
- Increase functional independence and quality of life
- Advice on fatigue management
- Combine stretching, aerobic exercise, strengthening, tai chi and relaxation techniques through weekly exercise classes
Our specialist OT’s aim to improve areas of personal care, work or leisure that are becoming difficult. This can be achieved through:
- Functional activities independently or in groups
- Cognitive measures to assist with memory difficulties
- Assessment of function in your own environment and establish any needs for equipment, adaptations, or further rehabilitation
- Hand therapy including splinting and exercise programmes
- Assessment and treatment of cognitive deficits
- Strategies to improve problem-solving abilities and memory
- Handwriting techniques and adaptive equipment
About 70-80% of people with Parkinson’s Disease experience difficulty with excess saliva and swallowing. Many people with Parkinson’s find difficulty with the volume, tone and pitch of their voice and often speech becomes much quieter as a result. Our specialist speech and language therapist may be able to help you through:
- Training for family and carers on how to communicate with someone with PD
- Lee Silverman Voice Treatment: our speech therapists are some of the few trained clinicians in the UK, able to provide this effective treatment to improve speech in people with Parkinson's Disease
- Advice on communication aids
- Treatment at the centre or in your own home
Our clinical neuropsychologists can help to provide:
- Detailed assessment of a clients’ functioning in particular their cognition, behaviour and emotional state
- Advice, consultation, teaching and supervision to other professionals as well as family and carers
- Management and advice for anxiety and changes in mood
For people with Parkinson’s Disease, our specialist orthotist, working with the team can help by designing and fitting orthoses to best compliment your treatment and rehabilitation. These include:
- Orthotics to prevent foot drop and aid walking
- Insoles to improve alignment, proprioception and gait
- Alterations to shoes to assist with leg length discrepancies,alignment and improve mobility
Lee Silverman Voice Therapy: LOUD
Research based Speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s, which targets unique communication goals of each person. The benefits include a positive impact on many levels if functioning in people with PD following treatment
“ I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a year ago. I was in a very bad way with my speech and everything about myself. I was lucky to be introduced to Chrissy Bibby, speech therapist, who took me under her wing and gave me back my voice. My whole life has come back to what it was – my speech, my voice and everyone can now understand me. Above all I have regained all my confidence which I never thought I would. I’m doing very well now, but I still would be happy to see Chrissy, and I never want to let go of her. I think everyone should know about her.
Useful Links & Research