Massage Therapy Treatment and Outcomes for a Patient with Parkinson’s Disease: a Case Report
WHAT IS PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex neurological disorder. The disease is progressive and, in time, results in severe disability. Many patients turn to massage in an attempt to alleviate symptoms of pain and rigidity, though the effects of massage with respect to PD are not well studied. This case adds one more instance in which massage therapy has provided temporary respite from resting tremor, one unrelenting symptom of PD
To determine if massage therapy can produce favorable outcomes with respect to the severity of rigidity and tremor in a patient with PD.
A 63-year-old female patient with idiopathic, long-standing, Hoehn-Yahr Stage 4 PD was treated with massage therapy five times over the course of six weeks. A SPES/SCOPA Motor Impairments rating scale was used to measure rigidity and tremor pre- and post-treatment, to gauge treatment effectiveness. The massage treatments consisted of deep longitudinal stroking, muscle squeezing techniques, passive range of motion movements, and general relaxation techniques to encourage a soothing environment while promoting a decrease in muscular tone and hyperactivity. Massage therapy administration was by a student near the end of her two-year diploma.
The results obtained indicated that massage therapy treatment had a positive effect on reducing resting and postural tremor in a patient with long-standing PD. The treatment was also effective in temporarily reducing rigidity during treatment. Regular and continued massage was shown to be needed to maintain benefit.
Further study is required; however, the results of this case were consistent with the limited research available on the subject of massage therapy and Parkinson’s disease, in that positive change with respect to tremor—and to a lesser degree, rigidity—were achieved with focused, intentional treatment.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT BEFORE YOUR MASSAGE TO BENEFIT YOUR PARKINSON'S
Your therapist will take a complete health history, including a thorough list of treatments and side effects such as neuropathy, rigidity and skin problems.
But your therapist should also ask about other conditions or injuries you may have. You and your therapist should agree on goals for the session.
Disrobing: Massage at Newark Therapeutic is usually done using oil therefore it my be necessary to at lest remove some of your clothing - if your balance is an issue, and it’s too much trouble to dress and undress we can work around this.
During the massage, you will always be kept covered, observing your modesty and keeping you warm. Don’t hesitate to request that your therapist help you on and off the massage table.
Position and Turning over: Some people have trouble turning over due to rigid or weak muscles. If you feel like a fish out of water lying on your stomach, just ask your therapist to work with you lying on your side instead. In this position your therapist still has good access to massage your back muscles, and you won’t feel helpless or confined.
Massage for Parkinson's is usually very light and soothing as deep work is contraindicated so there should be no pain or discomfort.
30 or 60 minute session are best and try to book AT LEAST once a month.
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