Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science
DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)
Session and Year of Graduation
Laura Frey Law
Background: Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, and affects 1-2 in 1,000 people in the United States. It is characterized by motor deficits, including gait and balance impairments, bradykinesia, and postural instability among other symptoms. The purpose of this case report is to outline a plan of care for a patient with gait and balance impairments secondary to Parkinson’s disease in an outpatient orthopedic setting. Case Description: The patient is an 82 year-old female with gait and balance impairments caused by Parkinson’s disease. The patient also presents with a recent history of lumbar discectomy, and demonstrates general lower extremity weakness. Intervention: Interventions consisted of gait training with an emphasis on cadence, stride length, and arm swing. Interventions also consisted of balance training, both static and dynamic, and postural stability. In addition, select Lee Silverman Voice Treatment-Big (LSVT BIG) exercises were incorporated into the treatment. Outcome Measures: The patient was initially assessed using the Timed Up and Go, Dual Task Timed Up and Go, and the 10 Meter Walk test. The patient was treated for a total of 8 visits, and although improvements were observed, the patient was not re-assessed with the above outcome measures due to a fall that required her to cancel her final appointment. Discussion: Gait and balance training are common interventions for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. It was observed that the patient demonstrated improvements in cadence, arm swing, and stride length throughout treatment. Individualized plans of care and consistency with home exercises are important factors that may lead to improved outcomes for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Future studies should address how dose and compliance of interventions affect the patient’s outcome.
Neurologic - General
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