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Physical Therapy Goals for Parkinson’s Disease

Physical therapy goals for Parkinson’s disease can be divided into two categories:
  • Short-term goals and
  • Long-term goals.

General Short-term Goals
  • To maintain normal range of motion (ROM) in all joints.
  • Increase range of motion of ____________. (Depends on what specific joint that has decreased ROM)
  • Prevent muscular weakness and atrophy secondary to disease.
  • To promote and improve motor function and mobility.
  • Improve gait patterns.
  • Improve chest expansion and mobility.
  • Maintain functional independence in activities of daily living ADL.

General Long-term Goals
  • Delay or minimize the progression and effects of symptoms.
  • Prevent the development of secondary problems and complications.
  • Prevent the development of deformities.
  • Maintain the patient’s/client’s functional abilities.

To achieve these goals, it requires:
  • A comprehensive treatment plan that maximizes movement to improve or maintain functional independence.
  • Patient/client’s full cooperation and motivation to achieve these goals.
  • Coordination within the entire rehabilitation team, which includes the family members.
  • Full family cooperation.

Remember that each patient with Parkinson’s disease may present with different sets of problems. Thereby, goals may vary depending on those specific problems.


O’sullivan, S and Schmitz, T: Physical Rehabilitation: Assessment and Treatment, ed 2. FA Davis, Philadelphia, 1988.

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