May 26, 2023

Written by: Zarmeena Gull (Osteopath at OHC)

Osteopathy Restores Stability in Parkinson’s Patients

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are various treatment options available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Tremor, slowed movements, and rigidity are physical symptoms which contribute to postural and gait abnormalities seen in many PD patients. Other symptoms include loss of balance and restricted range of motion, increasing the risk of falling.

Osteopathic manual treatment provided by osteopathic physician’s aims to help decrease muscle spasms and improve joint range of motion and movement.

Osteopathic Treatments Show Promise for Parkinson’s Patients

There have been studies investigating the effect of Osteopathic treatments on PD patients. One previous research study demonstrated that a single session of osteopathic manipulative improved, particularly stride length, cadence, and maximum velocities of upper and lower extremities.

Eight other studies on non-PD subjects have shown that Osteopathic treatment can improve subject balance. In a recent study 20 elderly subjects with Osteopathic treatment applied weekly for four weeks showed an improvement in postural instability and dizziness.

Osteopathic treatment could be utilized in improving gait in PD patients, improve muscle hypertonicity and joint motion restrictions by using muscle energy and articulatory techniques for the spine and the extremities. Some specific Osteopathic techniques could be used to address balance of the spine and cranium.

My Personal Experience as an Osteopath Treating Parkinson’s Patients

Based on my experience of treating PD patients and the improvement of symptoms in I have developed a specific protocol to help my patients. I use the cranial CV4 technique, to help  address cranial restrictions, thus aiming to affect patient’s autonomic function. The protocol then proceeds to address each major spinal region and the extremities by decreasing muscle hypertonicity and increasing joint range of motion with direct Osteopathic articulatory and muscle energy techniques.

Secondly, osteopathy can improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. This can be particularly helpful for Parkinson’s patients who may experience swelling or inflammation in the affected areas.

Finally, osteopathy can help to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Parkinson’s can be a very stressful condition, and stress can exacerbate symptoms.

Here is a recent message from one of my PD patients who is finding osteopathic treatment very helpful. It is a pleasure to receive messages like these; it really does make my Day!

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