Skip to main content

An older adult does physical therapy exercises via telehealth.

Physical therapy can help people with Parkinson disease improve their quality of life and even delay the negative effects of the disease, but a recent study shows that physical therapist services aren't being maximized by people with Parkinson's.

According to a study presented at the 20th International Congress of Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society ("Underutilization of physiotherapy for Parkinson's disease in the United States" – accessed June 22, 2016), fewer than 12% of Medicare beneficiaries with Parkinson disease utilized physical therapy over a 2 year period. Occupational therapy and speech therapy services also were underutilized.

"Occupational and physical therapy can help patients with being able to exercise, and we know that's one of the most effective ways to reverse the course of Parkinson's," said Peter Schmidt, PhD, of the National Parkinson Foundation, in an interview with MedPage Today about the study. "We've also shown that the earlier you get it, particularly with physical therapy, the more effective it is later in the disease."

To learn more about how physical therapists treat people with Parkinson disease, see our related guide below for Parkinson disease and the video.

Related Resources

Additional Information

Access additional Did You Know? pages.

Is this content helpful?

Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you. Your feedback has been sent.

You Might Also Like...

Health Tips

Parkinson Disease: 9 Things to Know for Better Quality of Life

Jun 8, 2022

While there is no cure for Parkinson disease, high-quality evidence indicates that a physical therapist can help you delay many of its adverse effects

Health Tips

10 Exercises To Do In the Pool

Mar 30, 2022

Pool (aquatic) exercise provides many benefits, including an ideal environment to exercise throughout the year for people of all ages and abilities. These

Health Tips

How Medicare Determines Payment For Therapy in Nursing Homes or Home Health Care

Mar 29, 2022

If you receive physical or other therapy services through a nursing home or home health agency, you should know your rights. You also should know about