Parkinson's Treatment

What is therapy for Parkinson's disease?

The frustrating effects of Parkinson's disease can take a toll on a patient's abilities and self-image, but a customized therapy plan can help patients make significant gains. At Bryn Mawr Rehab, our accredited, interdisciplinary therapists create innovative treatments to combat symptoms like:

  • Weakness
  • Small or shuffling steps
  • Slow walking
  • Freezing or inability to move
  • Low endurance
  • Decline in balance
  • Rigidity or stiffness
  • Inability to project voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decrease in fine motor skills, like handwriting, or using buttons and zippers

Whether a patient is with us for inpatient therapy at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Malvern, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, or at one of several locations for outpatient therapy for Parkinson's disease, therapy begins with a physical, occupational, speech and neuropsychological assessment.

Our therapists are certified by the National Parkinson Foundation®, LSVT BIG® and LSVT LOUD®, Parkinson Wellness Recovery® (PWR! training), Dance for PD® and therapeutic yoga.

Based on the results of the assessments and using a combination of personal insight and state-of-the-art technology, our team creates a regimen unique to each patient's goals and stage of disease. We take a creative approach that typically spans speech, occupational and physical therapies, which may include:

  • Exercises to improve dressing skills, eating and drinking
  • Strength, flexibility and balance-improvement training
  • Training to increase walking speed and ease of movement
  • Therapeutic yoga

Our work with Parkinson's patients may also include:

  • Exercises to enhance reading speed and reaction time
  • Therapies to improve speech clarity, tone and volume

We also incorporate diet-safety education into our program.

At Bryn Mawr Rehab we treat anyone with Parkinson's, regardless of age or stage of illness. Patient goals are established realistically based on individual lifestyles and needs, aiming for the highest level of independence possible. Depending on a therapist's recommendations, additional staff and departments may be called in as part of the recovery process. Typical therapy plans may include:

Our patients further benefit from technology-assisted therapy for Parkinson's disease such as the Bioness Vector, Lokomat® Pro, Lite Gait and/or Balance Master.

Parkinson's disease support groups

Parkinson support group

The focus of the group is to enhance quality of life through education, symptom management, and strategies for support and coping. Meetings are facilitated by Main Line Health clinicians and staff.

The Parkinson support group meets on the third Tuesday of the month from 6:00–7:30 pm in the Administration Building, First Floor, Conference Rooms 1–4. For information, call 484.596.4664 or email [email protected].

Family support of therapy for Parkinson's disease

For caregivers and family members, it's important to be involved in a Parkinson patient's treatment. Family involvement ensures that even when patients are at home, they can have someone to depend on who understands their challenges and is willing to help monitor and encourage their daily exercises.

Related specialties

Neurological Rehab

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital offers an extensive, progressive neurologic outpatient rehabilitation program for patients who may be able to function on their own, but wish to function even better.

Driver Rehab

Independence is a major goal of every rehabilitation program. For over 30 years, the driver rehabilitation program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital has offered a unique way for patients to return to this crucial aspect of their lives.

Pain Management

Our pain management program includes a range of therapeutic techniques, whether you need chronic back pain treatment or relief from pinched nerves. We also draw on integrative medicine approaches to complement traditional pain therapies to give you the safest, most effective results.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy and sensory integration helps patients who’ve experienced a debilitative injury or illness return to activities of daily living (ADL), such as dressing, eating, writing, shopping, toileting and driving.

Aquatic Therapy

Through the aquatic therapy program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, warm water helps patients relax, enhances functional movement, and boosts confidence and ability.

Hand Therapy

A hand therapy specialist is well-versed in a variety of methods and works to develop a personalized regimen for the unique needs of every patient. Our patients come from all walks of life—from young athletes to long-term arthritis sufferers to accidental burn victims.

Horticultural Therapy Center

Getting well doesn’t just happen from a hospital bed or inside a gym. Sometimes, letting patients get back to nature is the key to physical and psychological recovery.

Spinal Cord Rehab

Where you’ll receive innovative inpatient and outpatient spinal cord rehabilitation care at one of the country's most respected acute rehabilitation hospitals, and 92 percent of our inpatients reach their goals upon discharge and 83 percent of outpatients meet theirs.

Our Locations