Sunday, July 21, 2024

Massage Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

Massage Therapy And Parkinsons Diseasea Review Of The Literature

Massage Therapy Treatment and Outcomes for a Patient with Parkinsons Disease: a Case Report

Today, the majority of PD cases are effectively treated with a combination of medications, including the drug levodopa however, the degenerative effects of PD will still eventually lead to the progressive deterioration of neuromuscular control affecting bodily functions and activities of daily living. A study reviewing the research base states that, while many PD patients receive regular massage to alleviate PD symptoms, the lack of high-quality studies leaves the efficacy of the intervention for improvement of any measure other than relaxation, sleep, or emotional health unknown.

A number of recent global studies have been conducted in an attempt to determine complementary and alternative medicine usage by PD patients, with a worldwide usage rate varying between 26% to 76%, and usage of massage therapy in particular varying between 7% and 40%. The patients generally tending to turn towards CAM treatments in addition to the medical and pharmaceutical care they are receiving are those who have had a younger onset or longer duration of disease, those on higher doses of levodopa, and those with more severe motor symptoms.

Bodywork And Parkinsons Patients

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March 2002.

The incidence of Parkinsons disease in the United States is estimated at 1 million, with an additional 50,000 patients being diagnosed every year. While it is generally considered a disease of those between 50 and 79 years of age, incidence below the age of 40 is rapidly increasing and epidemiologists suspect environmental influences are playing a part in this phenomenon.1 Noting that Parkinsons is still essentially a disease of aging, the likelihood of caucasians coming down with the disease is 2.5 percent. The figures for African American and Asian populations are somewhat lower.2

Parkinsons disease is a neurological movement disorder that affects the substantia nigra, a small area in the basil ganglia. The substantia nigra is the key to the coordination of muscle movements by being the only local source of dopamine. While dopamine is produced throughout the body, dopamine from sources other than the substantia nigra cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier and therefore is useless for this condition.

The major clinical manifestations of Parkinsons disease are tremors, muscle rigidity, akinesia , dyskinesia and loss of postural reflexes.

Pemf Therapy Research For Parkinsons Disease

Several studies on PEMF therapy exhibit improved gross and fine-motor function and cognitive abilities. Pulsed magnetic fields have a molecular action and significantly alter the reactivity of molecules . With fewer free radicals there is less inflammation and aging related degeneration slows down. PEMF therapy has also been proven to alleviate depression and improve mental health2 .

PEMFs have a great healing potential for Parkinsons disease and a help for physical therapy and neurorehabilitation.

In 1996, Dr. Reuven Sandyk from Department of Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, NY, treated a 73 y/o patient with a 10 year history of Parkinsons disease using PEMFs4. Within a week of PEMF therapy, there was almost complete disappearance of PD tremors, start hesitation and freezing of gait. He was also able to draw better and got back his signature.

In 1999, his research uncovered that AC PEMF therapy improves smell 5 in Parkinsons disease. He also noticed that 7 Hz stimulation was helpful in resolving olfactory dysfunction, which is often ignored in treatment of Parkinsons disease. Smell and yawning are often indicators of disease status and improvements in these functions means that treatment is working.

Another large review of 470 PD patients from 2015 concluded that rTMS improves motor symptoms and tremor control for patients with PD.

Also Check: How Do You Get Parkinson Disease Symptoms

Implications For Massage Practitioners

If there is any question in your mind why Parkinsons is such an important field for massage therapy, you just have to read the list of physical changes the person with the disease can expect, despite drug treatments. The picture, as painted in the authoritative Merck Manual of Geriatrics, is not very pretty. The following chapter is reprinted by permission of the publishers.

How Does Massage Therapy Help With Parkinsons Disease

Massage Therapy as Complementary Treatment for Parkinson

No matter the cause, Massage Therapy can help with musculoskeletal pain and joint stiffness. Parkinsons occurs most frequently in those over the age of 50, who may already be feeling the effects of aging. Massage can help with muscle spasms and rigidity.

Daily exercise is recommended for people with Parkinsons Disease. Massage can help keep the body flexible and able to handle more activity.

As mentioned early, Parkinsons can affect quality sleep. Massage therapy promotes healthy and deep sleep by relaxing the body and giving the mind a chance to rest as well. Massage can reduce the occurrence of restlessness and thrashing during sleep.

Read Also: Difference Between Parkinson’s And Dementia

Keeping The Muscles Loose

Part of the severity of my fathers muscle rigidity is largely due to the fact that he does not want to do his physical therapy. He tried in the beginning but slowly lost motivation. We had to get creative in getting his muscles moving and loose so his pain and rigidity would lessen.

My sister and I have chronic upper back and shoulder pain. We are always looking for cheap deals on massages or the next best massager. We found the HyperVolt Percussion Massager. The one my sister bought is quite strong and very much so on the pricier end of the spectrum.

However, we felt it was a real investment because, especially during the pandemic, it replaced in-person massages. We were sold. We wondered if this was something that could help our dad.

What Is Parkinsons Disease

Most people are familiar with the symptoms of Parkinson?s Disease: tremors, loss of balance, and loss of motor functions. This is because PD is a neurodegenerative brain disorder. Many people will slowly develop the symptoms over a long period of time and can live for many years with the disease. In its most advanced stages, most PD sufferers cannot stand, walk, dress or feed themselves. Researchers are still uncertain as to what causes PD. While Parkinsons is not fatal, complications associated with the disease?such as an inability to swallow, incontinence, and dementia?are ranked as the 14th top cause of death in the U.S. by the CDC.

Also Check: Nocturnal Leg Cramps Parkinson’s

How To Treat Parkinsons Disease

there is a no permanent cure for the disease.but the pharmacological treatment and others may help to fight against the symptoms.with the help of Physiotherapy , Speech therapy , Occupational therapy can help the patient to live independant.some patients might require surgery.

Drug treatment should be delayed as long as possible.when started the dose of the drug should be gradually increased until the required benefit.the goals should be to relieve the symptoms to managable levels and not to give complete relief from symptoms.

There are initially Medical treatment and Physiotherapy exercise are started and Rarely required surgical interventions.

Using Massage To Manage Pain From Parkinsons

Ayurvedic Massage for Parkinson’s Disease

Massage therapy is used to treat a range of mental and physical health conditions, and can be a good alternative to conventional methods of treatment. When it comes to individuals with Parkinsons disease, massage can help to relieve both physical and mental tension, as well as help to alleviate symptoms of pain and muscle stiffness.

Read Also: Can Parkinson’s Psychosis Be Reversed

What To Expect During A Massage

As a certified massage therapist, I can help patients with the logistics of a massage, as well as provide the comforting benefits of massage. Patients will have the benefit of a table that can raise and lower to make getting on and off a lot easier. I can also help with removing shoes, putting them back on, and other dressing requirements if needed. I talk with all of my patients before a massage to ensure that the patient will receive the best level of care they need.

If you or someone you love has Parkinsons Diseases and is suffering from the symptoms, please call today to schedule an appointment. Relief is on its way!

How Can Physiotherapy Benefit Those With Parkinsons Disease

Apart from medication and surgical procedures, it has been established that physical therapy for Parkinsons disease yields great results. Physiotherapy can benefit a patient suffering from Parkinsons in resisting the regressive changes that follow this disease and in recovering from it.

Physiotherapy can have many positive effects on patients with Parkinsons disease:

Also Check: Restore Gold Parkinson’s Reviews

Is It Safe To Use

The Theracycle is designed specifically for users with movement disorders and has many safety features. Its motion can be stopped instantly using either a push of a button or a pull of a cord. The structural steel and cast iron parts help support the users weight safely and the seat is extra large for comfort and stability.

Finding The Right Tool

How Massage therapy Can Help Cope with Parkinsons Disease ...

We did worry the strength of the massage gun would be too much for him. Apart from being very strong on the person being massaged, the vibration from holding the gun itself can also feel your hand feeling a bit tingly after holding the gun.

However, he ended up finding a mini version of the gun – Hypersphere Mini. This version is a lot smaller and is actually a lot easier to use for longer periods of time. It doesnt come with as many massage heads but those can be bought separately.

Since he bought the massage gun, my father just runs it along his neck, down his back, along his calves, as well as under his feet. He sometimes pushes it and does it for longer than the recommended 15 minutes a day written on the box.

Read Also: Als Vs Parkinson’s Vs Ms

Dont Let Parkinsons Halt Your Life

Living with Parkinsons Disease can be a challenge but that should not stop anyone from living their life. Although there is no cure, it can be kept under control with the help of prescribed medications and physical therapy.

Our licensed physiotherapists and massage therapists are proud to serve the Edmonton and Calgary areas by providing in-home physical therapy for Parkinsons patients.

To book an appointment, or for more information, please contact InHome Physical Therapy and Massage today.

What Should I Expect At A Massage Appointment

Massage is not regulated in many. It is therefore a good idea to ask your doctor or other healthcare professional for recommendations. Friends, family, other people with Parkinsons or your national Parkinsons association may also be able to advise based on personal experience.

It is advisable to see a therapist who has experience of Parkinsons so do ask about their experience of the condition as well as their qualifications.

Massage can take place almost anywhere that is relaxing. It may be in a clinic, at your home, the practitioners home or at a hospital. You will generally lie on a special massage table or sit in a massage chair and usually you will need to be partially undressed or fully undressed, in which case towels or sheets should be provided for modesty.

At the first appointment the practitioner will ask about your medical history and any specific problems you have. It is important to tell them of any injuries or disabilities you may have. The first session will usually be around an hour long, with follow up sessions between 30-60 minutes. The length of a course of treatment will depend on your individual needs and should be discussed with your massage therapist at the outset.

Read Also: Google Scholar Parkinson’s Disease

How Can Massage Help Parkinsons Disease

In my experience, massage therapy can help ease the tremors caused by Parkinsons Disease. I have worked with several clients with Parkinsons Disease, and noticed an improvement in those clients tremors with regular massage therapy. The clients also benefitted from the relaxation and stress relief?that?massage therapy provides. While there have been no large studies done to back up my experience, there is one study in particular that sheds some light into the powerful PD treatment offered by massage therapy.

In the study, a woman had been living with PD for 14 years. She experienced a great deal of rigidity and resting tremor from the neck down on her left side, while her right facial muscles spasmed out of control. She could not walk on her own or care for herself. After receiving one weekly 60-minute massage therapy session for five weeks, the woman showed a decrease in resting tremors after every session. While the results were not long-term, massage therapy did bring the woman a great deal of comfort and relief for certain symptoms of PD.

Is There A Suggested Theracycle Workout That Will Improve My Pd Symptoms

How Parkinson’s disease affects geriatric massage patients?

Studies show that riding at 14 to 15 miles per hours for 40 minutes, 3 times per week, can prompt a significant improvement in PD symptoms. It is recommended that you begin with an easy, 10-minute warmup and follow with a relaxing 10-minute cool down. Learn about the benefits of forced exercise with the Theracycle »

You May Like: Early Detection Of Parkinson’s

Massage Therapy Treatment And Outcomes For A Patient With Parkinsons Disease: A Case Report

Posted:Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Listen in as we discuss, Massage Therapy Treatment and Outcomes for a Patient with Parkinsons Disease: a Case Report. This article is published in the Foundations open-access, peer-reviewed journal, the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork . You can view the full article here.

Listen to Research Perch on iTunes and Stitcher. Subscribe below:

Study Questions:

  • Why do you think tremor responded more positively than rigidity?
  • Many Parkinsons disease patients seek massage. Might anything in this case report influence the way you work with these clients?
  • The author poses a lot of questions for more research. What are yours?
  • How might this report influence your choices the next time you see a client with Parkinsons disease?

BONUS Infographic:

How Often Can Massage Be Used To Help Manage Parkinsons

Massage therapy can be utilised whenever necessary. While theres no way to get rid of the disease, regular physical treatment can reduce symptoms of muscle pain and stiffness, as well as reduce tremors. Although Parkinsons is a neurological disorder, excessive tightness of the muscles can make symptoms such as tremors worse. In this way, massage therapy acts as a great way to relieve muscles and nerves.

If youre suffering from excessive muscle pain and tightness, or if symptoms are becoming worse, you can book an appointment for a massage.

You May Like: Parkinson’s And High Blood Pressure

What To Expect At Your Massage Appointment

Massage therapy offers a relaxing and soothing experience. It shouldnt hurt, although it can be slightly painful if there are some knots to be worked out. However, in the hands of an experienced massage therapist youre guaranteed to be comfortable throughout the entire appointment.

Your massage therapist should be knowledgeable about Parkinsons and have an understanding of the bodys anatomy, as well as the correct treatment path for you. Your therapist will help you onto the massage table or chair and will apply soothing pressure to the muscles and joints to help you relax. Generally, a massage session will last between 30 minutes to an hour and will be in a comfortable room with soft lighting and relaxing music to help you to unwind.

Its important to tell your therapist if you experience any pain and to also explain to them of any injuries or disabilities you have. You should leave your session feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, with an increased feeling of well-being and decreased symptoms of pain and stress.

Coping With Parkinsons Disease

Why You May Want to Consider Massage Therapy

Regular treatments using the Cyclo-ssage Massage Therapy System will relax stiff and rigid muscles often resulting in improved balance and co-ordination. Helping to maintaining muscle strength often enhances core stability and flexibility without the concerns of dizziness or intolerable tingling which often occur using conventional treatments. Mood elevation is usually experienced after a relaxing massage therapy treatment and regular massage therapy sessions will reduce anxiety and improve energy levels and sleep patterns.

You May Like: Parkinson’s Disease Related Disorders

What Are The Symptoms Of The Patient With Parkinsons Disease

there are various symptoms seen in the patient with PD are as below:

Tremors :

it is the involuntary movements commonly affects your hands , legs , face and head also.during starting periods it involve only one hand, then spread to the same side of the leg.after that it becomes bilateral.may also involve head and jaw.tremors may present at rest for approx 4 to 6 secs and it is absent during sleep.


it involves muscles of the neck, trunk and limbs.Cog-wheel effect: when tremor is super-imposed on the rigidity.

Bradykinesia :

it is called as the difficulty in initiating voluntary the slowness of movement also occurs.movements like Arm swing is absent during walking ,it is typically seen in the patients with parkinsons disease.

Postural abnormalities :

patients assumes flexed kind of posture.patients also feel difficulty in maintaining balance.


patients feel difficulty in starting walking.patients are not able to maneuver through narrow passages. Shuffling kind of gait is seen.patients try to catch the center of gravity during walking.patients take small steps and fast steps as compared with normal peoples.

Appearance of face of Parkinsons patients:

mask like face is seen,it means lack of facial expressions.decreased eye blinking movements.difficulty in convergence of the eye.patients have slow and low volume.patients feel increased amount of sweating, on face also.patients feel difficulty in swallowing.

Other signs :

Stage :3

Stage :4

Find A Qualified Massage Therapist

If you have Parkinsons, its important to seek a qualified massage therapist to help give you the best treatment. You should look into working with qualified massage therapists who have completed a qualification in deep tissue massage and can be trusted to treat a range of injuries and complaints including muscle stiffness and pain.

Recommended Reading: Can You Reverse Parkinson Disease

Popular Articles
Related news