Parkinson’s Physical Therapy: a Panel of Experts Weighs in On Why You Need It

Parkinson's Physical Therapists - Davis Phinney Foundation

If you are living with Parkinson’s, seeing a physical therapist can help you improve your balance and reduce your risk for falling, improve your ability to walk faster and further, and improve your overall quality of life.

During this conversation with four Parkinson’s physical therapists (Michael Braitsch, Sarah King, Nate Coomer and Angee Ludwa), we touch on a variety of topics such as:

  • The importance of seeing a physical therapist soon after a Parkinson’s diagnosis
  • The importance of strength training, in particular, when it comes to living well with Parkinson’s
  • How physical therapy can help reduce pain
  • What happens during an initial PT assessment
  • How often you should see a PT to get results
  • What to do if you don’t have a Parkinson’s PT in your area
  • How to find and vet the right Parkinson’s PT for you
  • And much more

Have a question about Parkinson’s physical therapy? Please leave your questions in the comments.

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Comments (2)

Our insurance says my husband does not need physical therapy or nursing care because he has a caregiver (me) at home. He is on the 9th. year with Parkinson’s and is getting worse. I am in no way a caregiver…I have a bad heart and walk with a walker. I am 71 and my husband is 72.

Hi Carol,
Have you spoken with your husband’s doctor about this? I wonder if his doctor’s office could make a case for you that he does need PT and home care. The fact is, even if you could care for him, he would still need PT and many providers do offer it. I think this is worth another look, and maybe even another call to your benefits administrator. PT and home care/nursing care are very different so it seems they would need different approaches regarding coverage. I would call the insurance company again and request a written benefits explanation and why they deny coverage for PT. I would also speak with his doctor to see if he can make a case for its medical necessity to your insurance provider. Good luck, Carol. I’m sorry you are having a difficult time getting the care you both need.

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