A common symptom in Parkinson’s disease is a forward-bend posture combined with rigidity of the muscles. This influences the way patients move and also can increase their risk of falling. To help them improve their posture and gain control of torso movements, it is thus important to train the trunk muscles.
In the following video, Sylvie Jackmuth, one of the physiotherapists of ParkinsonNet Luxembourg, shows exercises in a sitting position to improve posture. They can easily be done at home and do not require any equipment or material. The sitting position reduces the risk of falling and allows a better focus on the sequence of movements. These exercises can also improve the overall mobility as they reinforce the strength of the trunk which may facilitate walking and moving.
“A better posture contributes to improve the balance of the body”, Sylvie explains. “Keeping your torso straight facilitates the movement of the head, arms and legs and improves walking due to a better balance.”
The exercises shown in the video mark the first step in a series of new videos created by the members of ParkinsonNet Luxembourg. Physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists work together to develop an integrated and strategy-oriented therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease, in order to facilitate their daily life. Posture training exercises in a sitting position are a good way to start to improve body awareness and flexibility of the muscles.
“Another important aspect of the training is to pay attention to your breathing while performing the exercises”, stresses Sylvie. “This helps you to focus on the movement and improves the effect of the training. And as the exercises allow the thorax to open, they will allow the lungs to expand and will let you breathe better.”
Patients should discuss the exercises shown in this and other videos with their therapist who can give additional and personalised advice.