‘Movement is medicine:’ Therapist at Active Physical Therapy talks about treating Parkinson’s

Mathieu said physical therapy is an important piece of the puzzle when dealing with the brain disorder.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 6:35 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Megan Mathieu is a Physical Therapist (PT) at Active Physical Therapy in Ishpeming.

She is also certified to treat people with Parkinson’s disease and on Wednesday, Active staff demonstrated how a session would look. Mathieu said PT is an important piece of the puzzle when dealing with the brain disorder.

“We can help to manage and alleviate a lot of the symptoms that come with Parkinson’s Disease,” said Mathieu. “The thing is people don’t always often think about not having to deal with so much stiffness and practicing their walking patterns, improving their balance, and things like that.”

April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Mathieu said Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing neurological disease in the country.

“The prevalence of it has increased by more than double in the last 25 years and almost everyone probably knows someone affected by this disease,” said Mathieu. “I think it’s important to get the word out about ways we can help those people.”

Mathieu also said one of the most beneficial things someone with Parkinson’s can do is exercise every single day.

“Just try to do high-intensity exercise moving every single day whether it’s going for a walk or going through happy resistance training exercises,” said Mathieu. “Sometimes its beneficial to go for a bike ride, really anything like that would be helpful.”

The Menominee native also said that Active Physical Therapy in Ishpeming can give accurate individual assessments.

“We can really look into everybody’s specific needs because nobody presents exactly the same with Parkinson’s and Physical Therapists are really good at determining what can exactly help you,” said Mathieu.

The clinic said if you are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you should first ask your doctor if PT would be a good option for you.

Mathieu also says if you can’t afford PT then remember, movement is medicine.