Are there guidelines or specific movements that are used to assess a clients strength and abilities that has Parkinson’s Disease? Is there maybe a questionnaire as well to assess the overall status of a client like that? I will be getting some info from her physician but would like to make my own assessment to monitor progress.
While I personally have not experienced training a client with Parkinson’s (hopefully others will give you their experiences and suggestions), I just completed some CECs online with an article from AFAA–titled Parkinson’s Disease. In general (because symptoms vary so much and fluctuate from day to day), the article discusses that it may be unnecessary to do formal strength and cardiovascular testing, but instead chart progress during the evolution of the program to show improvements. It would depend on how far the Parkinson’s has progressed. It also discussed more meaningful for an assessment may be a 6 minute walk and 10 meter comfortable pace, 10 meter fast pace, and a 15 meter fast paced walk. This is just a brief overview of that area… The article could provide a resource for you to start.
in addition, here are some other articles/resources from IDEA:
I hope others will guide you, but perhaps some of these resources will help as well.
I speak from personal experience. I have trained a client with PD from his diagnosis on and attended his memorial service last year. Parkinson’s is one of those diseases where we as trainers have to reverse our thinking in many ways.
The main shift in paradigm is the idea of progressing. Yes, in the beginning you will see some progress, mainly in terms of strength and flexibility, but over time you will fight to maintain what you have and will have to let go a little at a time. Be aware that your client is fully aware of what is going on even when she no longer has the ability of facial expressions or when speech becomes impaired to the point that you can hardly understand her.
That makes the question of assessment a tricky one because it will serve soon only to demonstrate how much has been lost. Eventually I was very careful in handing to my client only forms of resistance that are difficult to quantify so that it would not be so easy to see how we were slowly regressing.
Having watched the whole sad progress of this disease, I can say that I hate Parkinson’s with a passion. Training a client with it is both emotionally rewarding and frustrating. Much as we would like to, this is not a war that we can win. Which is not to say that you cannot immensely help with improving your client’s life to the degree possible.
Hello Ilka Siegmund,
The assessment is comparing the first workout to future sessions.
We are in the beginning stages and hopefully will not get too worse. The doctors’ feedback is good. This person works with me twice a week to maintain strength, flexibility and cardio. The person has progressed both mentally and physically, just having kinesthetic awareness has been very helpful.
We do a complete workout on the good days, and the rougher days we make sure to work on the neck and legs, open the chest and stand tall.
There will be many good days with the stiffer days working their way in. Just go with how the person feels that day; keep a close eye on them. My client is super with a great attitude and family, which helps tremendously.
For PD, you want to make sure to work on the neck, legs and flexibility.
Good luck to you and this client.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.