Therapy helps Parkinson’s disease patients live WELL

Physical Therapist Monica Bostrom with Ray Marsyla, Parkinson’s patient

Each year, 60,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a chronic neurological disease with progressive degenerative symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms vary from person to person and can include tremors, slowness of movement and rigidity; difficulty with balance; and swallowing, chewing and speaking. Non-motor symptoms can include depression and mood disorders; sleep disorders; loss of smell; and cognitive impairment and dementia.

The good news is that therapy services offered at Riverwood Healthcare Center can help someone with Parkinson’s disease live better with this disease.

Physical therapy can help with balance, flexibility, muscle strength, and walking quality and speed.

Occupational therapy can help with daily living skills, energy management, hand function and fine motor skills, and memory and cognition.

Speech therapy can help with memory and cognition, swallowing, speech, and voice.

“We offer LSVT BIG®, a program that addresses the gross and fine motor deficits for patients with Parkinson’s,” said Monica Bostrom, Riverwood physical therapist. “People with Parkinson’s disease often move differently, with gestures and actions that become smaller and slower. LSVT BIG helps improve these movements.”

Speech Therapist Amanda Bostrom with Ray Marsyla

Amanda Bostrom, speech-language pathologist at Riverwood, added: “We also offer LSVT LOUD®, a program that improves the volume and quality of speech. LSVT LOUD helps people with Parkinson’s disease use their voice at a more normal loudness level to improve communicative effectiveness.”

In addition to Monica and Amanda, Melissa Goeritz, physical therapy assistant, also provides LSVT therapy for Parkinson’s patients.

Physical Therapy Assistant Melissa Goeritz with Lou Ann Carlson

Therapy services are available with a referral from your primary care provider. For a therapy services appointment at Riverwood, call 218-927-5580.

Dr. Masood Ghazali, a neurologist with the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology, offers specialized care for Parkinson’s patients at our specialty clinic in Aitkin. For an appointment, call 218-927-5566.