Contribution by Alyssa Pollastrini, PT, DPT
Approximately 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year and about a half a million Americans are affected with this disease at a given time. This disease is progressive, and unfortunately the main medication, levodopa, becomes less effective over time. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, there is research supporting that non-contact boxing is very effective in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s Disease. Here are 5 ways boxing can help!
Balance is commonly affected in those with Parkinson’s Disease and it can lead to falls! Boxing challenges balance in a safe environment. Typically non-contact boxing involves a lot of footwork where you change direction, speeds, and narrow your base of support. By continually doing these activities, balance therefore starts to improve.
Ruth Burr attended boxing through Rock Steady Boxing out in Utah, and here is her testimonial:
When I started going to the boxing program, it made a dramatic difference! My balance gradually got better and I stopped stumbling and falling. I also gradually started being able to get up from the floor. At first, these improvements were slow and awkward, but my abilities improved a great deal.
People affected with Parkinson’s Disease often shuffle and have freezing episodes. It is also common in the later stages of the disease to have to use a cane, walker, or wheelchair. Boxing is a high intensity exercise and research shows that this high intensity aspect is very important for neurological diseases. Different chemicals get released in your brain that help change the wiring in your brain. As a result, people don’t shuffle their feet as much, have as many freezing episodes, and may not need an assistive device!
Katie Kleist in Peoria IL was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease at age 20. Her symptoms were continuing to progress. She then found a boxing program through Rock Steady Boxing:
During my pregnancies, as well as time in which I had to transition medications, I had to use a walker. I now can jump rope up to a count of 42. I would occasionally fall to my bottom because I would freeze as I attempted to pull open the fridge. I can now walk backwards on a 2×4 board as part of an obstacle course.
Strength is also commonly affected with Parkinson’s Disease. People start developing a more forward bent posture, and therefore it is very important to strengthen back and hip muscles to improve that posture. During boxing, punching helps improve shoulder and back strength. Circuit training exercises are also performed during boxing sessions as well which include both leg, hip, shoulder, and back strengthening.
Martin Zagarinski’s granddaughter wrote a testimonial for her grandpa who attended Rock Steady Boxing:
I was utterly shocked at how much strength he had gained. I don’t even think that I, as a healthy teenager, could master some of the skills he was performing!
Coordination is also affected with those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Boxing combines both footwork and punching together which helps to improve coordination overall. The high intensity aspect described previously also helps change the wiring in the brain as well that has an effect on coordination.
Gary Powers from Charlottesville started attending Rock Steady Boxing and noticed a difference in his coordination:
I am now dressing myself, driving better and to anywhere I want to go. My signs of Parkinson’s have slowed down and many of my athletes have commented about improvements.
5. Fatigue and Endurance
It is very common in Parkinson’s Disease to experience extreme fatigue and decreased endurance. As the symptoms progress such as rigid muscles and tremors, this is all very fatiguing on the body! Due to the positive benefits of high intensity exercise has on the brain, boxing also helps decrease fatigue and improve endurance.
Here is a testimonial from Liz Voogjarv who attended Rock Steady Boxing:
I used to feel like a person living with Parkinson’s – it was my constant companion. Now, I can sometimes forget that I have PD. It is fading more into the background in terms of how I define myself.
Liz’s energy level was low, and fatigue had her napping on a daily basis. She often used many “s” words to explain how PD was affecting her – slow, shuffling, stiff, sad-faced, etc. Thanks to Rock Steady Boxing and physical therapy, those words have changed to sporty and smiley! Liz feels much more confident, resilient, and energetic.
Although there is no true cure for Parkinson’s Disease, boxing does help to slow the progression of the disease and helps improve strength, coordination, balance, walking, and decreases fatigue and improves endurance. Our Huntley Physical Therapy facility offers a non-contact boxing program where you will work one on one with a therapist for a full hour! And your insurance will cover your session! Contact us today to set up a consultation!
John C Gerber
9/22/2019 09:15:48 am
I have PD and not very active. Would like to get involved in a activity to get me motivated by the
7/3/2021 11:13:34 pm
In July last year, I started on PARKINSON DISEASE TREATMENT PROTOCOL from Kykuyu Health Clinic One month into the treatment, I made a significant recovery. After I completed the recommended treatment, almost all my symptoms were gone, great improvement with my movement and balance. Its been a year, life has been amazing (ww w. kykuyuhealthclinic. c om).
7/6/2021 02:54:58 am
I started out taking only Azilect, then Mirapex, and sinemet for my Parkinson disease, but as the disease progressed they didn’t help much. A year ago I started on PD TREATMENT PROTOCOL from Kykuyu Health Clinic (ww w. kykuyuhealthclinic. c om). One month into the treatment, I made a significant recovery. After I completed the recommended treatment, almost all my symptoms were gone. Its been months since I completed the treatment, I live a very product life
8/6/2021 10:21:10 pm
In April of last year, i started on natural parkinsons disease herbal treatments from Kycuyu Health Clinic, i am happy to report this PD herbal treatment worked very effectively. My parkinson is totally under control, i had a total decline in symptoms, the tremors, shaking, stiffness, congnition and speech problems stopped. Visit Kycuyu Health Clinic official web page w w w. kycuyuhealthclinic .com. My family are amazed at the change and rapid recovery from pd.
8/8/2021 11:15:02 pm
Thanks for giving us all the information about Parkinson’s Disease, plethora of persons are facing many types of problems related to this disease, this blog are providing better information and helping many individuals.
9/1/2021 09:54:46 pm
My Parkinson disease symptoms started at the age of 47. The fingers on my left hand were stiff and were difficult to move. People noticed that my walk was not normal. I was often asked if I was hurt. I noticed nothing different about my walk. It was difficult getting up from a chair and getting out of a car. I was diagnosed a year later ,it was the onset of tremors starting in my right hand that caused my other symptoms to be recognized as Parkinson's.. I am now 59. With the new herbal medicine for Parkinson I purchased from Multivitamincare . org was my only way to get rid of my PD,the herbal formula effectively reversed my condition and alleviated all my symptoms, people are suffering from this Parkinson disease due to lack of information.
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2/10/2022 12:10:06 pm
My husband was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease at 67. His symptoms were shuffling of feet, slurred speech, low volume speech, degradation of handwriting, horrible driving skills, and his right arm is held at 45 degree angle. He was placed on Sinemet for 7 months and then Sifrol and rotigotine were introduced which replaced the Sinemet but he had to stop due to side effects. We tried every shot available but nothing was working. There has been little if any progress in finding a reliable treatment, I quit my meds due to side effects. Our care provider introduced us to Kycuyu Health Clinic Parkinson’s herbal treatment. The treatment is a miracle. My husband has recovered significantly! Visit kycuyuhealthclinic. co m
2/23/2023 05:07:56 am
My husband was diagnosed of Parkinsons disease 2 years ago, when he was 49. He had a stooped posture, tremors, right arm does not move and also a pulsating feeling in his body. He was placed on Senemet for 8 months and then Siferol was introduced and replaced the Senemet, during this time span he was also diagnosed with dementia. He started having hallucinations, lost touch with reality. Suspecting it was the medication I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started him on PD natural herbal formula we ordered from Health Care HERBAL CENTRE, his symptoms totally declined over a 3 weeks use of the Health Care HERBAL Parkinsons disease natural herbal formula. He is now almost 51 and doing very well, the disease is totally reversed! Visit w w w. healthcareherbalcentre .com
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2/21/2022 10:34:08 pm
It helped when you said that strengthening back and hip muscles can help improve posture. This is informative because my husband has been experiencing symptoms of Parkinson's disease. I think we should look for clinical trials next week that can help develop improved tools for diagnosis and treatment.
Brenda Ann Touchet
6/6/2022 12:04:25 am
I was diagnosed 2 years ago at age 63. Symptoms were tremor in right leg, loss of handwriting ability,My normally beautiful cursive writing was now small cramped printing and soft voice. I also had difficulty rising from a seated position and have balance issues. I started out taking only Azilect, then Mirapex, and then Sinemet. Several months ago I started falling frequently, hence the reason for Sinemet. During the summer of 2021, I was introduced to Health Herbs Clinic and their effective Parkinson’s herbal protocol. This protocol relieved symptoms significantly, even better than the medications I was given. Visit www . healthherbsclinic . com , After First month on treatment, my tremors mysterious stopped, had improvement walking. After I completed the treatment, all symptoms were gone. I live a more productive life. I was fortunate to have the loving support of my husband and family. I make it a point to appreciate every day!
8/16/2022 05:00:46 pm
My husband was diagnosed of Parkinsons disease 2 years ago, when he was 59. He had a stooped posture, tremors, right arm does not move and also a pulsating feeling in his body. He was placed on Senemet for 8 months and then Siferol was introduced and replaced the Senemet, during this time span he was also diagnosed with dementia. He started having hallucinations, lost touch with. Suspecting it was the medication I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) him on PD natural herbal formula we ordered from TREE OF LIFE HEALTH CLINIC, his symptoms totally declined over a 3 weeks use of the TREE OF LIFE HEALTH Parkinson's disease natural herbal formula. He is now almost 61 and doing very well, the disease is totally reversed! (w w w. treeoflifeherbalclinic .com)
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10/19/2022 04:53:28 am
I am 60 year old who was diagnosed 24 months ago with Parkinson's. I have severe calf pain, muscle pain, slurred speech, frequent falls, loss of balance, difficulty in getting up from sitting position, I was having a problem accepting my diagnosis, even though I've read every thing I can find to read. I've been put on Sinemet 3 times daily but it doesn't seem to be helping. I also have difficulty writing. Getting in bed, turning over.this year our family doctor started me on ( Health Herbs Clinic ) Parkinson’s Disease Herbal mixture, 6 months into treatment I improved dramatically. At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control, no case of Parkinson’s disease, hallucination, weakness, muscle pain or tremors. I’m strong again and able to go about daily activities. Visit Health Herbs Clinic website www. healthherbsclinic. com
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11/7/2022 09:59:32 pm
My Parkinson disease symptoms started at the age of 47. The fingers on my left hand were stiff and were difficult to move. People noticed that my walk was not normal. I was often asked if I was hurt. I noticed nothing different about my walk. It was difficult getting up from a chair and getting out of a car. I was diagnosed a year later ,it was the onset of tremors starting in my right hand that caused my other symptoms to be recognized as Parkinson's.. I am now 59. With the new herbal medicine for Parkinson I purchased from www Multivitamincare . org was my only way to get rid of my PD,the herbal formula effectively reversed my condition and alleviated all my symptoms, people are suffering from this Parkinson disease due to lack of information.
12/21/2022 03:35:56 am
I was diagnosed 2011. i was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. My symptoms progressed quickly. Soon i was having difficulty breathing, swallowing and even walking short distances. With the help of Health Herbs Clinic natural herbs I have been able to reverse my symptoms using diet, herbs, which i feel has made the most difference. The Parkinson’s natural formula immensely helped my condition, it reversed my Parkinson’s. my slurred speech, then the tremors, and mobility gradually disappeared, even my handwriting is getting better visit their website at healthherbsclinic . com people are suffering from this horrible disease due to lack of information.
2/25/2023 03:07:38 am
My grandma has Parkinson’s disease, she is about 75 years old it was detected 7 years ago. Right now it’s getting more difficult to live for her, because of stiff muscles she can’t even move. L-dopa and carbidopa medicines are given, but won"t give much relief. She can"t eat food and the skin is damaging forming ganglia. I thought this might be the last stage and the medications she was given did not help at all, so I started to do alot of research on natural treatments, I was introduced to Health Natural Centre and their Parkinson’s Herbal Protocol. She started on the Parkinson’s Treatment last year, her symptoms gradually diminished including her Tremors, Body Weakness and Muscle Pains. Reach them at healthnaturalcentre.org , She is getting active again since starting this treatment, she is able to walk again ( down the street and back )she have also resumed exercising to strengthen muscles!! God Bless all PD Caregivers. Stay Strong, take small moments throughout the day to thank yourself, to love your self, and pray to whatever faith, star, spiritual force you believe in and ask for strength. I can personally vouch for these remedy but you would probably need to decide what works best for you.
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Emily Craigen, owner of Crystal Lake Physical Therapy, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a local Crystal Lake resident who is excited to bring health and wellness to her community.