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Parkinson's Disease

A diagram of a brain through the saggital plane, indicating the substantia nigra


Parkinson's Disease is a disorder of the nerve cells in a specific part of the brain called the substantia nigra. It causes a gradual onset of rigidity of movement and other changes to automatic postural functions. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, you should seek referral to a neurologist and should regularly see a Parkinson's Specialist Nurse.

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Physiotherapy can be useful at different stages of the disease.

Early on, education and exercise programmes can help prolong walking ability and help the client to understand the disease and available treatments. This early treatment can prolong a persons ability to walk, improve their strength, fitness and dexterity which can slow the effects of disease progression.

Later on, a tailored exercise program and use of different pieces of equipment can help to prolong walking and other physical abilities or to help the Parkinson's disease patient and their family adapt to new ways of achieving their day to day goals.

Towards the end of the disease progression, physiotherapy input can be useful to help achieve transfers for example to access the toilet, or specific physiotherapy treatments can help relieve secondary complications such as chest infections and pain.

A pyramid of small hand weights and a trainer. A wrist weight and gym ball in the background

Other Health professionals

Other health professionals you may encounter are Speech and Language therapists, Dietitians and Occupational therapists (OTs).

Sharp Neurological Physiotherapy aim to help throughout all stages of this disease and are best able to do this in conjunction with other professionals including those mentioned above. Your therapist is able to attend these professional appointments with you if required to help achieve co-ordination of care and your best understanding. Sharp Neurological Physiotherapy are also able to refer you to some of these specialities and/or advise you when they are required.

Please reach out via the details on our contact page with any further queries.



NICE Parkinson's disease quality standard [QS164] 

This quality standard covers care for adult Parkinson's Disease sufferers. It gives advice in areas including access to multi-disciplinary teams, care strategies, infection and falls prevention, information from diagnosis, inpatient care and medicines management and symptoms.

One of the reccomendations from this standard is that Adults with Parkinson's disease are referred to a physiotherapist for specialist treatment if they have problems with movement or balance. It is starting to emerge, that this referral should happen as early as possible after diagnosis.


Parkinson's disease affects balance and gait, which leaves the person at risk of falls, which can result in injury, loss of confidence and further reduced mobility and independence. Assessment of risk, prevention and education around the topic of falls is an important part of physiotherapy intervention for PD.

Service wide

August 2019 saw a new NHS England toolkit to bridge gaps in progressive neurological services . Whilst there still remains work to be done, the NHS in this area have some services available for progressive neurological conditions. Sharp Neurological Physiotherapy can work alongside these services and can help signpost you to areas of service available when you need them.


Opportunities to be involved in research are often available and support for researching a cure for Parkinson's Disease is gaining momentum. Reach out to local charities to get involved.

Our Blog


April 20th, 2022

INSIGHT is an online conference about Parkinson's Disease - take a look :)

Check out Research Options on PD UK

Sept 19, 2019

One theory of the cause of the apoptosis (programmed cell death) in Parkinson's Disease, is related to metabolic pathways. There is some interesting research in process for drugs which it is hoped can change these pathways.

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