Movement Impairment Analysis

Young girl suffering from muscle spasms.Med1Care Therapy Partner’s physical therapists specialize in movement impairment analysis.

Movement disorders can show up in a variety of ways with symptoms that span from subtle to disabling.

Symptoms may include spasms, tremors, jerking or stumbling movements, as well as:

  • Balance and posture problems
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Cramping and pain
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills
  • Finger, hand, forearm or shoulder spasms
  • Fluctuating mental function
  • Involuntary, patterned rhythmic and fixed movements
  • Lack of spontaneous movement
  • Muscle rigidity, tremors and slow movement
  • Posture problems
  • Shuffling gait
  • Slow, stiff or jerking movements
  • Spasms in facial muscles or eyelids
  • Speech problems (ataxia)
  • Stumbling gait
  • Swallowing and digestive problems
  • Tilting or twisting in the neck
  • Tremors
  • Urinary and bowel problems
  • Vision problems or hallucinations

Movement impairment can be progressive and disabling. However, ongoing research and progress has redefined treatment options. Depending on the cause of your movement impairment and unique symptoms, diagnosis and treatment are far more likely to produce symptom relief or reduction than fifty years ago.

Physical therapy is key to increasing mobility, strength and balance.

Reasons for Movement Impairment

Many issues can contribute to movement impairment, including weakening of the limbs and core muscles. Movement disorders can also arise from an underlying medical condition, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Ataxia
  • Blepharospasm
  • Dystonia
  • Essential tremor
  • Heart conditions
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Injury and pain
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Limb weakness
  • Motor stereotypies
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Respiratory problems

Although every movement impairment is unique and symptoms vary widely, physical therapy is key to countering the impairment with increased mobility, strength and balance training.

How We Can Help

Med1Care Therapy Partner’s experienced therapists are trained in movement impairment analysis. Your treatment plan may include assistance with exercises that strengthen the muscles that help you stand, so you can improve stability and lower the risk of falls. You may also receive support choosing appropriate footwear and using assistive devices that help you maintain your mobility and quality of life. Supplements and medications may also be recommended to improve bone health and reduce the risk of breakage during a fall. We will partner with your physician to help you build a road to recovery.

Call us at 419.866.0555 to schedule a consultation. Our specialists will help you chart a course forward.

Senior woman with movement impairment. Falls can be common for this condition.A combination of factors can contribute to fall risks in older adults, including:

  • Balance and/or gait problems
  • Foot strength and supportive footwear
  • Home hazards, including poor lighting and items that may cause tripping, such as floor rugs
  • Positional low blood pressure, as when blood pressure drops when you standup (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Sensory changes in the feet
  • Use of more than five medications concurrently
  • Vestibular problems
  • Vision changes

Seniors practicing Tai Chi.Balance exercises strengthen the muscles in your core and legs to improve your stability and prevent falls.

Here are six balance exercises to add to your fitness routine:

  • Stand on one leg and raise the other to the front, side and back
  • Walk an imaginary tightrope, heal to toe
  • Sit in a chair and stand without using your hands for assistance
  • Alternate knee lifts while walking
  • Practice yoga or tai chi
  • Stand on a Bosu half-circle stability ball or balance board

When these no longer present a challenge, hold the position for longer, add movement to a pose or close your eyes.

Elderly man holding his other hand while eating due to parkinson's disease tremors.Physical therapy is critical to slowing progressive movement impairment.

Exercises for Parkinson’s Disease include:

  • Amplitude training (LSVT) that exaggerates physical movements with high steps and large arm swings. This trains the muscles away from progressive hypokinesia (increasingly smaller, shuffling movements).
  • Reciprocal pattern reinforcement, like swinging the arms while walking.
  • Balance and gait training to support the interplay of visual feedback, inner ear orientation, balance and gait.
  • Stretching and flexibility training to loosen tight hip flexors, hamstrings and calf muscles.
  • Strength training to counteract muscle weakness with resistance exercises.

Read more about physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease here.