If you have Parkinson’s disease (PD), you may suffer from tremors, slowness or stiffness that can affect your mobility and everyday functions. These symptoms can cause older people with PD to have a greater risk of falls which can lead to hip fractures.
Unfortunately, some treatments such a medications and surgery are only partially effective in treating people with these symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. That’s why exercise is so important for individuals with PD. Exercise can help improve postural and motor control in seniors with Parkinson’s disease, so they can maintain their independence. However, 60% of adults don’t participate in the recommended daily amount of physical activity. Therefore, it’s crucial that seniors with PD find a physical activity that’s fun and enjoyable to do.
Many seniors enjoy dancing, and recent studies have shown that adapted tango can help improve balance, mobility, gait and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease. Adapted tango is a version of traditional Argentine tango that’s been modified to address motor impairments in older adults.
Using adapted Argentine tango as therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease is believed to help these patients with:
Postural instability. Since dancers must support themselves on a single leg with just a little balance assistance from their partner, adapted tango can help individuals with PD control their posture and their mobility.
- Bradykinesia. Because people with Parkinson’s disease tend to move slowly (known as bradykinesia), adapted tango can help them increase their pace as they dance to the music.
- Stride length. Tango uses a variety of steps from short to long. Therefore, people with PD learn how to adjust their stride length.
- Backward locomotion. People with Parkinson’s disease are more susceptible to falls when walking backward. Adapted tango helps them walk backward while maintaining balance.
- Turning. People with PD often use more steps to turn and don’t rotate their body as well, but adapted tango helps them learn how to turn better.
- Freezing of gait. When people with Parkinson’s disease walk in small, narrow spaces, their gait often freezes. But adapted tango helps them move in tight spaces with a partner to relieve freezing of their gait.
Overall, adapted tango can motivate older adults with Parkinson’s disease to get active while helping them perform complex gait tasks and maintain their balance, leading to better quality of life.
ezWalker® Custom Orthotics Help Improve Balance
While custom foot orthotics cannot improve overall symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, some studies indicate that they can improve balance and postural control in some people with excessive pronation. ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics help to evenly redistribute your weight on your feet while guiding your feet into better alignment. And when your feet are properly aligned, you’ll experience greater stability and balance when standing or walking.
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