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In my physical therapy clinic I use pickleball drills and training to help patients with Parkinson’s disease all the time.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that affets movement. Patients will present with different symptoms from rigidity to tremors, from slow movements to what is often referred to as “freezing.” [1]

Pickleball for Parkinsons disease is a great program to help clients improve balance and coordination, improve spine mobility and flexibility, and increase socialization while improving quality of life.

Why is Pickleball Good for Parkinson’s Disease?

Pickleball is good for people with Parkinson’s disease because it is fun, it encourages trunk rotation, multi-direction stepping, coordination, and socialization.

Rock Steady Boxing has gained popularity in recent years because of the benefits for individuals with Parkinson’s disease

I hope to see someone create a similar program that uses Pickleball in the management of Parkinson’s disease.

Is Pickleball Safe for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease?

Every activity comes with inherent risks. Since a person withi Parkinson’s often has impaired balance and poor coordination, there is always a risk of falling or injury. 

A well manage and prescribed pickleball program is ideal for the management of Parkinson’s related symptoms.

For clients who are especially at high risk of falling, the pickleball coach might make modifications to the training program.

How Can Some Get Start Playing Pickleball to Treat Parkinson’s Disease?

Getting started is easy.

Step 1 – Find a licensed physical therapist who plays pickleball.

If you start calling around your city to all of the local physical therapy and occupational therapy providers you will likely find someone who enjoys the sport of pickleball. Once you find that person you can schedule an initial evaluation to discuss your condition and see if a pickleball based therapy program would be appropriate for you.

Even if you cannot find a therapist that plays pickleball you will definitely be able to find a therapist who will use the game of pickleball in your treatment plan.

Step 2 – Check your insurance coverage.

While health insurance coverage like Medicare won’t pay for pickleball training, the fact that you have Parkinson’s disease and you are experiencing physical impairments due to this condition may qualify you to receive reimbursement for physical therapy or occupational therapy. 

Then it is up to the evaluating therapist to determine if pickleball drills and training is an appropriate treatment strategy for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Step 3 – Consider online Pickleball for Parkinsons’ disease.

An online pickleball for Parkinson’s disease program could be a great option. Search Google for options.

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