How Physical Therapy Aids in Slowing Parkinson's Disease

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, “Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.” People with Parkinson’s disease may experience gait and balance problems, tremors, limb rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). Physical therapy can help slow the progression of the disease and help those affected to remain as independent as possible.

Balance Difficulties

Parkinson’s disease can cause a person to become unstable when walking, which can lead to a fear of walking in public places. Your physical therapist at Peak Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine can help address the issues that impact balance and walking, improving strength, power, endurance, and balance on different surfaces and with different activities. This can also help reduce the risk of falls.

Strength Training

Muscles naturally weaken with age, but it can be more severe for patients with Parkinson’s. Your physical therapist may introduce you to exercises with resistance bands or weights. Aquatic therapy may also be used to improve weakness, using the water’s natural resistance. 


Patients with Parkinson’s commonly develop tight calf, thigh, and hip muscles. Your physical therapist can teach you how to stretch throughout the day, and how often to do so. 

Reciprocal Patterns

Parkinson’s disease can affect a patient’s ability to swing their opposite arm and leg while walking. Your physical therapist can help reinforce side-to-side and left-to-right pattern with the use of an elliptical machine, reclining bicycle, and other activities.


Since stiffness is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, it can result in poor posture or pain. Your physical therapist can help guide you through stretches and other exercises to increase strength and mobility.

Peak Physical Therapy

Our South Shore Physical Therapy practice specializes in physical therapy including many specialty programs including return-to-sports, vestibular, pelvic health, post-concussion, aquatics, and more. Locations include Norwell, MA, Scituate, MA, Quincy, MA, Hanover, MA, Pembroke, MA, and Braintree, MA. Our specialized programs combined with state-of-the-art facilities allow us to meet the unique needs of our local patients and achieve the fastest results. If you are unsure whether this type of treatment can help you, we offer a no-obligation FREE injury screening. Click here for more information.

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Norwell, MA
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Hanover, MA
Braintree, MA
Pembroke, MA


Hanover, MA
  • Healthtrax Health Club
  • 20 East St.
  • Hanover, MA 02339
  • Phone/Text: 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
  • Scituate Health and Racquet Club
  • 1004 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy
  • Scituate, MA 02066
  • Phone/Text: 781-378-2352
Weymouth, MA
  • Weymouth Club
  • 75 Finnell Drive
  • Weymouth, MA 02188
  • Phone/Text: 781-986-0990


Norwell, MA
  • Women's Health
  • 99 Longwater Circle
  • Suite 203
  • Norwell, MA 02061
  • Phone/Text 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Braintree, MA