Exercise Improves Balance
Bilge Kara and Arzu Genc of Dokuz Eylul University, School of Physical Therapy, Izmir, Turkey and Beril Donmez Colakoglu and Raif Cakmur of the Neurology Department of Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey conducted a study to examine what the effects were of supervised exercises on measures of static and dynamic balance of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients.
The study used a before/after design. Seventeen PD patients with mild and moderate levels of disability were included in the study. Under a physiotherapist’s supervision patients followed an exercise program once a week for 12 weeks. The standard Balance Master protocol was used before and after exercise to assess changes in static and dynamic balance.
The results showed that there was a statistically significant difference in the unilateral balance test, one of the static balance assessments performed while standing on the right or left leg with closed eyes. With respect to dynamic balance, a statistically significant difference in the maximum excursion of limits of stability (LOS), one of the balance tests used in the exercise programs for patients with Parkinson’s disease, between measurements taken both before and after exercises was also detected.
The conclusions drawn were that the change of LOS revealed that dynamic balance improved due to the exercises. Therefore, the supervised exercise program showed improvement in the dynamic balance of PD patients.
One of the most comprehensive exercise programs available today for PD patients is the one using the TUTOR system as a physical therapy solution.
The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are being used both inpatient, outpatient and in the home care environment to encourage intensive repetitive exercise practice in a controlled and motivating format. The TUTORs are used in both early intervention by both physical and occupational therapists. In addition the TUTOR system is used to continue to keep the patient motivated and to do exercise practice during the later stages of rehabilitation and to keep the gains that have been achieved in movement and functional ability. The TUTORs are being used in exercise rehabilitation for Parkinson’s patients as well as those who have had a stroke, brain/spinal cord injury, CP, MS and a host of other upper and lower limb disabilities. The patient can start to do intensive repetitive exercises even if they have limited lower limb, shoulder, knee and ankle or upper limb arm and hand movement ability. When it comes to balance therapy the LEGTUTOR and/or 3DTUTOR are placed on either the impaired or non impaired leg while the patient stands and ”throws darts” in one of the many exclusively created games that the TUTOR system uses. This allows the patient to strengthen both legs while working on balance and cognition.
The TUTOR physical therapy products are currently in use in leading U.S. and European hospitals and clinics. They can be used by children as well as adults and at home through the use of telerehabilitation. They are certified by the FDA and CE. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.