In the past two decades’ awareness has really spread about Parkinson’s Disease, but very few have researched the disease extensively. With April being Parkinson’s Awareness month, we here at OSR in Kailua thought that it would be a good time to shine some light on the disease as it is common in the US as well as among our VA patients here in Hawaii.
Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over the age of 60. Generally, the symptoms start appears around age 60 but in rare cases may be diagnosed in people 40 or younger. Parkinson’s is commonly misdiagnosed because of the lack of adequate tests to determine the disease. Not only are there approximately one million people living with Parkinson’s in the US, but the VA treats nearly 40,000 Veteran’s with the disease alone.
According to Michael J. Fox Foundation:
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that results from the loss of cells in various parts of the brain, including a region called the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra cells produce dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain that allow for coordination of movement. Loss of dopamine causes neurons to fire without normal control, leaving patients less able to direct or control their movement.
Parkinson’s is referred to mostly as a movement disease, that can cause patients to deal with chronic pain and limited movement. Some other symptoms are:
-Stiffness in limbs or body parts
-Slowness of movement
-A resting tremor in your body parts
One of the worst things you can do as a Parkinson’s patients is to lead a sedentary lifestyle. This can cause symptoms to worsen at a quicker rate. This is why former Olympian and Olympic coach Michael Cohen created the program Get Excited and Move, which is a program that is designed to improve muscle movement, coordination, endurance and other symptoms with a tailored workout program. Not only are Veterans feeling pain relief, but the program also does wonder for mental health. Working out, mobility and physical therapy are among some of the best options for those with Parkinson’s who are trying to fight chronic pain.
Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab we offer services like:
Call us today at 488-5555 to make an appointment!