Partial exercises

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Albert Susan was 74-years-old when her doctor informed her the reason she dragged her feet when walking was due to the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

File 132222“It was scary,” she said.

“My licence was taken away, which was devastating really.”

The Stanway resident, now 76, was told the degenerative neurological condition had started to develop some years earlier, which, coupled with Albert’s pre-existing arthritis in her back, made it difficult for her to walk distances, get herself up and dressed and continue with one of her favourite pastimes – gardening.
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Parkinson’s affects the body through the deterioration and impairment of brain functions, thought to be caused through a loss of the chemical called dopamine that helps regulate the body’s movement.

The cause of the main type of Parkinson’s is unknown, however most experts believe that both genetic and environmental factors are involved. Other types of Parkinsonism can be caused by a series of mini strokes, by certain drugs or trauma.

Once diagnosed, Albert was quickly referred to specialist physiotherapist Sophie Stubbings for treatment.

“I was hoping she could help me get better, and it has helped quite a bit,” Albert said.

“It’s been a great help for my walking.”

Albert had 12 sessions of physiotherapy with Sophie, focussing on exercises to improve her mobility, including knee rolling when lying down, bridging and upper body rotations, and tests for balance.

Since completing her sessions, Albert has continued with her exercises at least once, often twice, a day to keep up his mobility. 

“I still do the exercises, mostly for my legs and bending my knees.”

Most importantly for Albert, her physiotherapy treatment and ongoing exercise regime has meant she can get back in the garden each day

“You mustn’t give up, you have to keep persevering,” she said.

“I don’t want to seize up altogether.”
She encouraged other people with Parkinson’s to seek advice and treatment from a physiotherapist.

“Oh I would definitely recommend physiotherapy,” she said.

“It has helped, quite a bit.”

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