Improving your Posture with Parkinson’s Disease

How to Improve Posture if you Have Parkinson’s Disease

There are nearly 1 million individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease in the United States, with a new study reporting 90,000 new cases annually. Parkinson’s can have many effects on the body from cognitive to balance to gut health. Today we will touch on how Parkinson’s can affect posture and what an individual can do to help improve their posture and quality of life.

People diagnosed with Parkinson’s have a greater likelihood of demonstrating a stooped posture. This means a person tends to develop a forward head posture with rounded shoulders and increased thoracic kyphosis (or rounded upper back).

This type of posturing can have some negative effects on an individual including:

  • making it more difficult to raise the head to communicate and make eye contact
  • difficulty generating a productive cough
  • limited ability to raise arms up overhead
  • changes in the center of gravity which increase fall risk
  • increased headaches/jaw pain

There are many ways in which a person can help improve their posture or avoid progression of stooped posture.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Check your posture in a mirror a few times daily. Look at your posture from the front and from the side to get a better idea of your form.
  • Avoid sitting in one position for long periods of time. Change positions and take movement breaks.
  • Use lumbar or cervical pillows for better alignment of your spine when sitting for long periods of time
  • Exercise! Consider trying yoga or Tai Chi if your doctor says it is safe for you. A regular walking routine is also a great option.
  • Strengthen your back muscles to help bring your shoulders back and give you more postural support.

And remember, the experienced therapists at Apex Physical Therapy and Wellness are here to help if you have questions or concerns regarding how to improve your posture!

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