Parkinson’s Disease

What is Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition, resulting from the degeneration of dopamine producing neurones in the basal ganglia, deep in the lower region of the brain. The role of the basal ganglia is to orchestrate the performance of well-learnt, voluntary and semi-automatic motor skills and movement sequences. Dopamine also contributes to other processes, such as maintaining and switching focus of attention, problem solving and decision making. There are also other conditions such as Multiple System Atrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy that can result in Parkinsonian symptoms 


The onset of symptoms is slow and may go unnoticed for several years. Symptoms usually affect one side of the body early on and a tremor is often present, but not in all cases.
The causes of Parkinson’s have not yet been determined, but it is believed that it is likely to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

A wide variety of symptoms can present as the condition progresses, and each individual is different and therefore will experience different symptoms, and at different times. 

Some of the main symptoms can be divided into motor and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms are those affecting movements, and non-motor symptoms are any other symptoms that do not directly affect movement and motor function.

The main symptoms of Parkinson’s are:

Motor Symptoms:

  • Bradykinesia: slow movements and difficulty initiating movements.
  • Rigidity: Increased muscle tone, stiffness and muscle cramps.
  • Tremor: Involuntary shaking, trembling or quivering movements of the muscles.
  • Postural Instability: Difficulty with balance and walking.
  • Freezing: Initiation of movements i.e. starting walking or standing up can become difficult. Crossing thresholds such as doorways or walking in enclosed spaces can also become more challenging.

Non-motor Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Sleep disturbances and fatigue
  • Memory difficulties
  • Weight loss
  •  Speech and swallowing difficulties
  • Pain

Physiotherapy for Parkinsons disease: 

  • At Hooley and Tuke rehabilitation we offer an individualised and specialist assessment to identify key problems and goals.  Treatment may focus on one or more of the following:
  • Reduce rigidity and improve posture through stretching and postural re-education
  • Increase speed and amplitude of movements through muscle strengthening and mobilisation exercises.
  • Cueing Strategies
  • Increase mobility through assessment of different mobility aids
  • Reduce muscle stiffness, spasms and pain through stretching programmes
  • Reduce postural instability and balance problems through core stability exercises and balance training
  • Reduce the risk of falls through balance work, gait re-education and strengthening
  • Increase functional independence and quality of life
  • Fatigue management and advice

If you would like to discuss how we may be able to help you further or to arrange an appointment, please contact us.


01223 655653


Alternatively fill in our enquiry form.

Enquiry form