OHSU

Rehabilitation

RehabilitationA team approach to treatment is important with Parkinson's disease and movement disorders. Key team members are therapists who specialize in neurological (nervous system) rehabilitation. They include:

Your therapist can help you and your family manage the disease and feel as good as possible.

We highly recommend seeing a rehabilitation (rehab) therapist who specializes in PD from time to time. Good times to see a rehab therapist are:

  • Early in the disease (or when first diagnosed)
  • When your ability to function changes
  • When you change medications, start taking a new medication or have surgery

Rehabilitation-PTRemember to exercise. Exercise is very important to functioning at your best with PD and getting good results from your treatment plan. It's also important to stay active and engaged. If this is challenging for you, talk to your PD specialist or visit your rehab team. They can help you find ways to stay fit, move more freely and keep doing what you love to do.

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Exercise

Alternative Treatments

Our Rehabilitation Team

At the OHSU Parkinson Center, we believe total team care is important to living successfully with Parkinson's disease. Your care should include:

  • Regular visits with your neurologist for examinations and medication adjustment.
  • Regular visits to physical, occupational and speech therapists.

We are fortunate to have a highly energized, innovative neurological rehabilitation team. Our team members have participated in  intensive, specialized training about Parkinson's disease.

Like everything else with PD, which healthcare providers you see—and how often--is based on your personal situation. You make decisions based on your symptoms and disease progression.

We usually suggest a team evaluation after you are first diagnosed. (Your team is your physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist). The team helps you:

  • Establish a baseline so you can measure the progress of PD
  • Receive valuable education
  • Develop an individual program to help you stay mobile, flexible, safe and active

After this, you can request an appointment with your team about every two years. You can work with each therapist as needed.

If your symptoms change, ask your doctor (neurologist or primary care provider) for a referral to one of your therapists. You don't have to wait for your doctor or other healthcare provider to suggest seeing a therapist. If you think physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy (for speech or swallowing) may help, please ask.