In a nutshell
This study investigated the short and long-term effects of physiotherapy in improving the freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson's disease. Researchers confirmed the effectiveness of physiotherapy in the treatment of these patients.
Parkinson's disease affects brain cells. These cells lose their abilities overtime causing symptoms such as freezing of gait (FOG). FOG is a brief reduction of the ability to step forward while walking. FOG is a major cause of falls. This causes significant disability and reduces the quality of life.
The standard treatment for FOG is medication, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. Physiotherapy includes the use of physical methods such as massage or exercise to treat a disease or injury. Physiotherapy is used in Parkinson's disease for the training of gait, daily tasks and other natural factors, such as narrow doorways.
Prior studies concluded that physiotherapy improves the treatment of FOG. However, its effectiveness in FOG in patients with Parkinson's disease is not clear.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed 19 other studies and included 913 patients with Parkinson's disease and FOG. 9 of these studies compared physiotherapy with no treatment. The remaining 10 studies compared physiotherapy with different interventions (control group). These control interventions included treadmill training, cueing, aquatic exercise.
A significant difference was seen in the short-term effectiveness between physiotherapy and no treatment. Physiotherapy for Parkinson's disease also improved FOG compared to control intervention. However, a smaller difference was seen between physiotherapy and control. These improvements were maintained at the follow-up examinations (in the long-term).
The bottom line
This study concluded that physiotherapy tailored for Parkinson's disease is a safe and effective option for the treatment of FOG.
The fine print
This study compared different studies with different methods. This might affect the results.
Published By :
Movement disorders: official journal of the Movement Disorder Society
Dec 04, 2019
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