Step by Step
For the last few months, “Pat” has been coming to Occupational Therapy to increase strength, range of motion, balance, fine motor and gross motor coordination, that he has been affected by having the diagnoses of Parkinson’s Disease. Initially, Pat had a shuffling gait with head flexed and held forward, a right-hand tremor, limited active range of motion and strength throughout his body. Pat drives, participates in cardiac rehabilitation, and active with friends and family. He is very motivated to improve his coordination and decrease chance of falls. He always arrives with a smile and is up for any activity that will challenge his body. Our treatment sessions begin with heat to loosen tight muscles, deep breathing, and stretching each muscle groups. Once stretched, it is on to weights, gross motor coordination, and balance activities in standing. He performs wall standing, where he raises his head up and back towards the wall with his shoulders to stand upright. Over the sessions he has improved to only being 3 inches from the wall from the 4-5 inches initially. He ends the session with the “football player walk” or “angry CEO stomp” which is when he focuses on a wider gait while he stomps his feet and swings his arms with his head raised. We use pictures and videos to help him visualize himself walking with confidence and strength; and for him to see his improvement. He even took a picture of his foot prints in the light snow to show how he is walking with a wider base! He has been doing more complex activities to challenge his balance, weight bearing activities to increase core strength, and getting on/off the floor independently. Over the last two weeks he has received compliments on how he is walking! He is making steady progress and we all are excited to see what he will be able to do next.