Movement Disorders Program

The most common movement disorder treated at Roger C. Peace is Parkinson’s Disease (PD). People who have Parkinson’s may have difficulty walking (shuffling of feet, freezing of gait), stiffness and rigidity, loss of balance, slower movement, or poor posture. These deficits may lead to increased fall risk, loss of function, and decreased quality of life. Additionally, people with PD often experience voice changes which may impact their ability to effectively communicate.

Our therapists are Parkinson’s Disease specialists who use Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!) program for treating individuals with PD. They are PWR!Moves Certified Therapists who utilize PWR!Moves in individualized, 1-on-1, therapy sessions. These moves target several specific symptoms that may be present in individuals with Parkinson’s, working to improve posture, weight shifting, trunk rotation, and stepping. Physical therapists utilize various approaches to improve walking, balance, bed mobility, transfers, multitasking, and more. We treat individuals at all stages of Parkinson’s Disease to improve quality of life, maintain function, and prevent decline in mobility. Outcomes of outpatient physical therapy with a PD-specialized therapist include increased flexibility, improved gait and balance, decreased risk of falls, increased confidence, and improved efficiency in movement. These outcomes allow the patient to be more independent in the home and community.

Other Movement Disorders and Parkinsonisms treated at Roger C. Peace include:

  • Essential Tremor
  • Dystonia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Ataxia
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
  • Multiple System Atrophy
  • Corticobasilar Degeneration
  • Dementia with Lewy Body

Treatment sessions are one hour, one-on-one sessions with a physical therapist. Duration is usually 6-12 weeks with attendance typically occurring 2x/week. However, frequency will vary depending on patient’s specific needs. It is recommended that a person with Parkinson’s sees a PD-specialized therapist every 6 months to a year for an assessment as a way to maintain mobility and prevent functional decline.
Our therapists also communicate closely with the referring provider. Physical therapy staff encourage a continuum of physical activity in addition to therapy interventions. This includes participation in community based fitness programs such as PWR! programs at local YMCAs, yoga, boxing, ballroom dancing, pole walking, and more.

Our Speech-language pathologists are certified in LSVT LOUD, which is an evidenced-based treatment program for people with PD and other neurologic conditions. LSVT LOUD can improve loudness, articulation, vocal quality, decreased facial expression, and swallowing.

Additionally, patients with movement disorders can benefit from working with Occupational Therapy. In occupational therapy, the focus is on gaining or maintaining independence with daily life skills from basic self-care such as bathing and dressing to job-related tasks and interests/hobbies.

For more advanced or atypical Parkinsonisms, contact your provider to see if you qualify to attend the Atypical PD clinic at Prisma Health Neuroscience Associates, one of only three such programs in the country. This is a multidisciplinary clinic which provides comprehensive approach at one visit. The clinic meets once per month.