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Fiona Lindop says there are resources galore to help people with Parkinson’s

I have worked as a physiotherapist with people with Parkinson’s for more than 10 years. It is a complex neurological condition affecting around 120,000 people in the UK.

Parkinson’s often affects gait, balance, posture and transfers, with bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and rigidity as major motor symptoms.

Gait problems, including reduced stride length, difficulty with turning and freezing, are particularly common, so physiotherapy can be extremely beneficial for those with the condition.

But people with Parkinson’s don’t always get the physiotherapy expertise they need. It’s here that organisations like Parkinson’s UK can help.

The charity has a wealth of resources and publications available to help physiotherapists give their patients the best possible care.

The Parkinson’s UK quick reference cards and guidance notes for physiotherapists, available from parkinsons.org.uk, have been developed from the Dutch guidelines for physiotherapy in Parkinson’s.

They aim to provide standardised guidance for physiotherapists who do not necessarily work with large numbers of Parkinson’s patients, ensuring they get the best treatment to help manage the condition.

The cards provide practical information on taking a history of the patient’s condition, assessment, treatment goals and strategies for intervention.

Validated outcome measures are also provided to help equip physiotherapists to assess and measure intervention effectively, helping to ensure that people with Parkinson’s can expect to receive appropriate and effective physiotherapy wherever they live.

Parkinson’s UK also has a network for professionals working with people with Parkinson’s, including physiotherapists.

It gives members the latest Parkinson’s news and information, and physios are encouraged to join the network by visiting parkinsons.org.uk/professionalsnetwork

Fiona Lindop is a specialist physiotherapist in Parkinson’s working in Derbyshire.

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