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How to Design Water Exercises for Parkinson's Patients

Provide a new dimension to exercise routines for Parkinson's patients with a pool program you create to enhance mobility and flexibility.


  • Step 1: Emphasize the social aspect of a pool experience, paying attention to how it might help alleviate a patient's sense of isolation.
  • Step 2: Design the program to conclude in the shallow end of the pool with a cool-down routine consisting of small, slow movements.
  • Step 3: Evaluate the routine on a regular basis to ensure it meets the patient's goals, making any needed adjustments. With an effective water exercise program, you can hope to see a Parkinson's patient's quality of life improve.
  • FACT: In 1817, Dr. James Parkinson published the first paper identifying the condition now known as Parkinson's disease.
  • TIP: Continuously monitor patients for fatigue during exercise sessions.
  • Step 4: Design exercises to improve the patient's range of motion and also target balance, posture, and gait with a program matching the patient's current abilities.
  • TIP: Research Parkinson's impact on movement and motor control so you have a better sense of the mobility limitations of Parkinson's patients.
  • Step 5: Assess patients for water safety and comfort by testing their ability to walk in the pool in all directions, float face-down, and blow bubbles with their face submerged.
  • TIP: Make sure pool and water temperatures are comfortable.
  • Step 6: Consider the patient's personal goals and design water exercises to improve daily function with movements that mirror activities like lifting, rising from a chair, or turning corners.
  • Step 7: Evaluate the patient's condition, looking for tremors, limb stiffness, slow movement, impaired balance and coordination, and postural instability.

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