Parkinson’s Disease and Physiotherapy Management
What is Parkinson’s disease?
A tremor is the most well-known symptom. Other movement symptoms include stiff and slow movements, speech difficulties, and losing the ability to blink and smile. If you have Parkinson’s, you may also experience a range of non-motor symptoms including pain, poor sleep, depression and memory difficulties/dementia.
How do you treat Parkinson’s?
There is no cure for Parkinson’s. Treatment focuses on helping you manage your symptoms and lead a fulfilling life.
Because each person experiences a different mix of symptoms, treatment is tailored to your particular needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and there may be a period of trial and error as you and your doctor try different treatments to see which suits you best.
There are many medications available to treat the movement difficulties caused by Parkinson’s and the wider symptoms such as constipation, depression, sexual difficulties, drooling, tiredness, pain and sleep problems.
Because Parkinson’s can affect many aspects of your life, treatment often involves a multidisciplinary team of different health professionals, each bringing their own expertise.
Your team may include a:
- Doctors such as your GP and neurologist
- A Parkinson’s nurse
- A psychologist
- A speech therapist
- An occupational therapist
- A physiotherapist.
How can physiotherapy help with Parkinson’s disease?
Physiotherapists are trained to understand your body’s movements, maximise your functional ability, and minimise the complications of your condition. We’re trained to build on your strengths.
Your physio is there to assess how Parkinson’s affects your movement and to help you by helping you:
- Improve your strength and flexibility through a tailored program of exercises
- Stay fit
- Improve your balance to prevent falls
- Manage pain
Can you use NDIS funding for physio?
Yes, if it’s included in your NDIS Plan.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports people under 65 who are living with a permanent and significant disability.
If you wish to apply for NDIS funding to access services for Parkinson’s, you need to check your eligibility, then go through the NDIS application process. If your application is approved, then you’ll be asked about the type of support you need and this information will be used to create your NDIS Plan, which will provide a certain amount of funding to help you achieve your goals.
If one of your goals is to manage your movement symptoms, then it makes sense to ensure that funding for physiotherapy is included in your NDIS Plan.
Can I choose my physiotherapist if I’m using my NDIS funding?
That depends on how you’ve chosen to manage your funds.
The NDIS is designed to give you choice and control over the services you receive. That includes giving you the opportunity to choose who provides those services.
Exactly how much choice and control you get depends on how you choose to manage your funds. If a plan manager or the NDIA manage your money for you, then you must use NDIS-approved providers.
However, if you’re self-managing your NDIS funds, you can use any provider you choose. Self-management puts you in the driving seat, giving you control, independence and flexibility in arranging and paying for your NDIS supports.
It’s wise to enter into a Service Agreement with any provider you choose to work with. This outlines the services you’ll receive and their cost. It also explains how you or the service provider can end the agreement if you wish. It’s best to have all this clear from the beginning as it helps you to understand what should be happening and how you can change things if you need to.
How can The Brisbane Spine Clinic help?
If you have a current NDIS Plan that includes physiotherapy services and have chosen to self-manage your funds, then we’d love to help you.
You’ll notice The Brisbane Spine Clinic difference from the beginning.
We are skilled physiotherapists who will treat your physical needs with dedication and commitment. But, more than that, we’ll treat you with respect, communicating clearly with you to help you understand your body and gain peace of mind.
We’re fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Cantonese, which is of great benefit to patients from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
We believe in supporting and providing care for you over the years, building a trusting, ongoing relationship. We use a problem-solving, results-based, goal-focused clinical approach to achieve measurable improvements. We are not here just to provide a quick temporary patch-up. We are here, every time, anytime.
We begin by assessing you, examining your muscle strength, joint mobility, endurance and balance. Depending on your disability and your goals, we then develop a tailored exercise program that helps you make progress.
It’s encouraging to see the improvements you’re making. That’s why we measure your strength and mobility at the beginning and measure again from time to time.
We can also prescribe mobility equipment to help you move around more easily. You may be able to pay for these through your NDIS Plan if it includes funding for assistive technology or home modifications.
As physiotherapists, we’re used to working in multidisciplinary teams to help people living with complex conditions. With your permission, we’ll collaborate with your wider treatment team, including your doctors or other allied health professionals. You’ll benefit from this coordinated care.
If that sounds like your type of skilled, supportive, patient-centred care, then please make an appointment. We’re looking forward to meeting you.
All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion.