Parkinson’s Disease

Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) present with varying symptoms, ranging from mild tremor, to those who have severe gait and safety problems, dyskinesia, dysphagia and cognitive issues.

HHCRN Neuro Conditions Parkinson's DiseaseHartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network provides evidence based physical, occupational and speech therapy services to address all of these problems.


Program Description

Symptomology will determine whether the patient receives skilled therapy and/or a group exercise class designed specifically for patients with Parkinson’s.

Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Goals

  • Improve balance and gait efficiency by promoting axial mobility and breaking synergistic motor patterns.
  • Train patients to utilize auditory cueing and rhythmic initiation to address freezing.
  • Stimulate neuro-protective effects of exercise including a cardiovascular response.
  • Motivate and educate patients about safety, exercise compliance, and strategies to promote continual benefit from therapy.
  • Identify appropriate adaptive equipment and train patients in use to maximize activities of daily living (ADL).
  • Teach compensatory solutions for dyskinesia.

Speech Therapy Goals

  • Address Dysphagia (including VitalStim), Dysphonia, and Dsyarthria

Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!)

Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!) is an exercise program modeled to begin at diagnosis and continue throughout the life of the individual. The exercises included target the specific impairments associated with Parkinson’s disease and offer strategies to improve your function. The goal of PWR! is to coordinate and integrate medical/rehabilitation goals with community-based exercise programs and wellness resources. It allows individuals to receive a continuum of care that begins at diagnosis with a PWR! Therapist- for life. It provides education and ongoing monitoring to allow individuals to use their full potential to get better and stay better! Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network has physical and occupational therapists that are certified in PWR!Moves in multiple locations, including acute care, homecare and outpatient.

In conjunction with the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center, we offer community based wellness programs in our Vernon location to promote a lifetime of exercise and fitness.


LSVT BIG© Parkinsons Program

The LSVT BIG© program is an exciting research-based exercise approach effective in the treatment of people with Parkinson's disease and other similar movement disorders. LSVT stands for "Lee Silverman Voice Treatment" which was developed in the 1980's with funding from the family of a Parkinson's patient (Lee Silverman) to improve her ability to communicate. More recently the program has expended to include a physical therapy specific approach to improve movement patterns based on the same principles. This is known as LSVT BIG©. We will teach you how to avoid inactivity, enhance your movements during everyday activities and better your quality of life. This program includes whole body movements with large amplitudes, multiples repetitions and progressions from simple to complex that focus on high effort levels through. BIG effort is the key to success!

Ideally, the program includes a four week cycle with three to four one hour appointments per week. Depending on your condition and physical health at the time of evaluation, modification may be recommended. All Treatments are with a LSVT certified clinician.

Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network