We were saddened to learn that iconic singer Linda Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease that has left her unable to sing. We certainly wish her well. The 67-year-old singer, who will publish her memoir, Simple Dreams, next month, revealed her condition Friday in an interview with AARP.  Having struggled with symptoms for years, she says her hands shook, but she thought it was the result of shoulder surgery. Today, she walks with the aid of poles on uneven ground and uses a wheelchair when she travels.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation:

  • As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.

LSVT BIG therapy can make a positive impact with movement and quality of life

The good news for Parkinson’s Disease patients is a relatively new therapy called LSVT BIG. Michael McKindley, DPT, in our Costa Mesa office was one of the first physical therapists in Orange County to receive certification in this therapy that is showing great results in improving the lives of patients. He has this to say:

“We all know that Parkinson’s Disease is a very debilitating and life changing disease,” said McKindley.  “Researchers are working very hard toward finding a cure and reducing  the effects of this neurological condition that limits the body’s ability to move and do everyday tasks.  There is also good news for patients with this diagnosis.  A relatively new physical therapy program called LSVT BIG is having great success in helping patients combat the physical limitations from Parkinson’s disease.

“The idea is to improve the individual’s ability to move and complete day to day tasks.  We emphasize tasks that are challenging our patients.  For example slow and shuffling gait.  We create a program specifically around that patients’ goal and practice and implement strategies that will increase walking speed, stride length, balance and most importantly safely and fall prevention.  LSVT BIG combined with our balance and strength training programs is taking Parkinson patients to functional levels we have never seen before.”

ABC News has a great story on the disease discussing both Linda and Michael J. Fox.

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