The Role of Physical Therapy in the Management of Parkinson’s Disease

The Role of Physical Therapy in the Management of Parkinson’s Disease

Canada has some of the highest rates of Parkinson’s Disease globally, and they are on the rise. Perhaps you or someone you know – a close friend or loved one, is currently navigating a Parkinson’s diagnosis. A diagnosis can feel overwhelming. There is a huge onslaught of new information to process, while at the same time needing to learn how to adapt life to manage symptoms. 

We here at Vangool Wellness are here to help. All our physiotherapist practitioners have been certified through Parkinson Canada to provide care for individuals with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. 

So, what can physical therapy do to help? 

The management of Parkinson’s Disease is truly interdisciplinary – the team may include any combination of a physical therapist, doctor, PD specialist, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Being movement experts, physical therapists play an important role in:

  • Managing the physical symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Supporting exercise engagement – a first-line treatment for slowing disease progression 
  • Improving quality of life and emotional well-being

If you or a loved one is currently living with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, our rehabilitation team here at Vangool Wellness would be happy to support you along your journey. Contact us here for more information or to book an assessment.

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons Disease [PD] is a lifelong progressive neurological disease that affects an area of our brain that produces dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of our emotions, motivation, and coordinating movement in our bodies. As the disease progresses, we have less dopamine available in our brains which leads to greater difficulty with motor tasks as well as emotional regulation over time. 

Parkinson’s Disease falls under the umbrella of Parkinsonism, which refers to brain conditions that cause movement-related effects in the body as described above. Other Parkinsonism conditions you may have heard of include Lewy Body Dementia or Multiple System Atrophy. Parkinson’s Disease is the most common of these brain conditions however, accounting for around 80%. 

 There are currently no diagnostic tests available (bloodwork, scans, etc.) to detect and diagnose PD. Because of this, early detection is rare and by the time a clinical diagnosis is made, changes in the brain have already occurred and symptoms are likely to be showing. In order to make a clinical diagnosis, an individual must present with 2 of the first 3 listed motor symptoms: 

  • Tremor: shaking/trembling movements in the body, most commonly in the hands at rest
  • Rigidity: stiffness/tightness in muscles, inability to relax them
  • Akinesia/Bradykinesia: slowness of movement
  • Postural Instability: stooped posture, balance impairments, occurs later in PD

A common acronym used to remember the motor symptoms of PD is TRAP. Beyond the motor symptoms, there are a range of other impacts PD has on health that might not be visible and can vary between individuals. These can include speech difficulties, loss of taste/smell, depression & anxiety, apathy, gait changes, difficulty with decision making, bladder impacts, facial masking, and sleep difficulties to name a few. This highlights the importance to treat Parkinson’s Disease through a biopsychosocial lens, with care addressing the physical, emotional, and social aspects of our lives. 

Who Does PD Affect? 

Parkinson’s Disease is most commonly seen later in life, with a majority of cases occurring beyond 60 years of age. There are however a small number of juvenile PD cases that occur. PD is slightly more common in those assigned male at birth than in those assigned female at birth. 

Management of Parkinson’s Disease

Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease will generally include medication, possibly surgery, and as mentioned earlier, exercise. With exercise being a first-line treatment for slowing the progression of Parkinson’s Disease, it is important to establish an exercise routine early on in the diagnosis. That’s where we come in. Physiotherapists have the capacity to support physical engagement in PD with a thorough physical assessment, individualized programming, emotional support, and recommendations of appropriate equipment or environmental modifications as the disease progresses. 

In addition to exercise and physical activity helping to maintain/improve our mobility, balance, and flexibility, it also eases non-motor symptoms like depression & anxiety and disrupted sleep.  But what type of exercise should be completed?

Exercise programs for those with Parkinson’s Disease should include the following key components: 

  • Aerobic activity
  • Strength Training
  • Balance, Agility, and Multitasking
  • Flexibility  

Physiotherapy Treatment

At Vangool Wellness we have a variety of treatment options available for those with a Parkinson’s Diagnosis which could include individual physiotherapy assessments & treatments (mobile care available), group or individual Physio-Yoga, and Chair Yoga. Each of these options can help with supporting exercise engagement from a whole-person approach. Feel free to call in for a 15 minute free phone consultation if you have any questions regarding treatment options. 

Individual Assessment: includes a thorough history taking to understand all aspects of the diagnosis from the client perspective, followed by a physical assessment to determine which education and treatment approach is best suited to you.

Physio-Yoga: either individual or class-based with a focus on assessing/treating PD through the lens of yoga-therapy which incorporates elements of strength, balance, and flexibility. Individual modifications provided throughout the class.

Related reading: What is Physio-Yoga

Chair Yoga: appropriate for all stages of PD including advanced stages where modifications can help allow for participation in a full body flow with components of strength, mobility, and balance incorporated throughout. Individual modifications provided throughout the class.


Parkinson’s Disease affects many individuals globally and can have a significant impact on quality of life. With research showing that exercise is one of the best treatment options to improve quality of life from both a physical & emotional lens, it is important to initiate an exercise routine early on and consistently throughout the diagnosis. 

It can be hard to know how to implement exercise, and you shouldn’t have to go about that process alone. Physiotherapists are experts in movement disorders and have the training and knowledge to promote safe and effective physical activity for those with Parkinson’s Disease. 

If you or a loved one is navigating a Parkinson’s diagnosis, we can help. Book in for an assessment here, or call the clinic at 306.242.9355 for more information. 

Hip Impingement Physiotherapy: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hip Impingement Physiotherapy: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hip Pain Physiotherapy

Hip impingement, or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), occurs when there is an abnormal contact between the bones of your hip joint, leading to pain and reduced mobility. This condition can arise from a variety of factors, including the shape of your hip bones, repetitive movements which bring your joint to the extremes of its range, or underlying developmental conditions. The discomfort and limitations it causes often lead individuals to seek effective management strategies.

FAI syndrome is a motion-related clinical diagnosis of the hip that represents symptomatic contact between the proximal femur and the acetabulum.⁣

Physiotherapy stands out as an integral part of treating hip impingement, offering a non-invasive approach to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Through tailored exercises and guidance from a licensed physiotherapist, you can work on restoring hip joint function, increase your range of motion, and reduce the pain associated with hip impingement.

If you’re grappling with hip impingement and eager to start on a path toward recovery, consider reaching out to the experts at Vangool Wellness in Saskatoon. Their clinical experience and dedication to patient care can provide the support and treatment necessary to navigate this condition effectively.

Understanding Hip Impingement

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is characterized by pain and limited mobility caused by contact between the femoral head and the acetabulum. Here, we’ll explore the hip’s anatomy, the types of impingement you might encounter, and factors that can increase your risk of developing this condition.

Anatomy of the Hip

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint where the rounded femoral head (the “ball”) fits into the acetabulum (the “socket”). This design allows for a wide range of movement. The socket is lined with cartilage and has a rim of softer tissue called the labrum, which provides a seal and support for the joint.

Types of Impingement

There are three morphologies of the femoroacetabular joint associated with FAI syndrome: cam, pincer, and mixed. ⁣

1️⃣A cam-type morphology has an aspherical femoral head due to adventitious bone formation along the head-neck junction of the femur. This morphology results in impingement of the superior acetabulum with hip flexion and internal rotation. ⁣

2️⃣A pincer-type morphology, commonly associated with acetabular retroversion, results from the overcoverage of the femoral head. ⁣

3️⃣A mixed-type morphology has both cam and pincer morphologies, which is more common than either in isolation.⁣

Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors can contribute to the development of hip impingement, including:

  • Bone Structure Abnormalities: Conditions like hip dysplasia or slipped capital femoral epiphysis can alter the hip anatomy, increasing FAI risk.
  • Genetic Predispositions: Your genetic makeup may predispose you to hip structure irregularities or ligmentous laxity which then allows you to get into the extreme ends of your range of motion.
  • Repetitive Movements: Athletes or those with occupations requiring repetitive hip movements may experience higher FAI risks.

Understanding these elements can help you better grasp the mechanics behind hip impingement and its potential causes, guiding you toward seeking the most effective treatments.

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Diagnosis of Hip Impingement When you’re experiencing discomfort in your hip area, it’s crucial to get a proper diagnosis. Your journey starts with a detailed medical history and a thorough physical examination. During the assessment, your healthcare provider will inquire about your hip pain and other related symptoms as well as evaluate your hip’s range of motion.

Imaging tests play a pivotal role in diagnosing hip impingement. X-rays can reveal abnormalities in the shape of your hip bones, while a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may be necessary to view soft tissue and cartilage damage or investigate factors such as joint angles. In some cases, a Computed Tomography (CT) scan might also be employed to provide a more detailed structural view.

Symptoms to Watch For

  • Hip pain and groin pain are common indicators of hip impingement.
  • You might notice a decrease in your hip’s range of motion or feel stiffness.
  • Activities like walking, sitting for long periods, or bending may intensify the discomfort.

When addressing your symptoms, it’s important to consider their frequency and the activities that trigger them. Early recognition and diagnosis are key to managing hip impingement effectively and preventing further joint damage. If you’re experiencing any persistent symptoms, it’s advised to consult healthcare professionals knowledgeable about hip impingement. They can guide you on the next steps towards managing your condition and improving your hip health.

Physiotherapy Management

Physiotherapy plays a critical role in managing hip impingement, focusing on tailored exercise programs and rehabilitation strategies to improve hip function both before and after surgery, if required.

Before and After Surgery

Prior to surgery, a physiotherapy treatment plan aims to strengthen your hip, improve range of motion, and enhance balance and flexibility to prepare for the operation. Exercises and neuromuscular training target the muscles around your hip joint, fostering improved proprioception, or the sense of joint position, which is crucial for preventing further injuries.

Post-surgery, your physiotherapist will guide you through a structured recovery protocol. It begins with gentle movements to gradually restore hip range of motion, progressing to specific exercises that focus on rebuilding hip strength, balance, and flexibility. 

Exercise and Rehabilitation

Your exercise and rehabilitation program will be tailored to your individual needs with an aim to restore function, minimize pain, and prevent future complications. Your physiotherapist may use:

  • Isometric exercises: These are static exercises where the muscle doesn’t visibly move but tension is applied, helping to maintain muscle strength without straining the hip joint.
  • Dynamic exercises: These involve movement and help improve strength and control, often mimicking everyday activities or specific sports movements.
  • Stretching routines: To improve flexibility and range of motion.

Additionally, neuromuscular education exercises are crucial to improve the control you have over your hip joint, which includes your body’s ability to respond to changes in environment and activity. It encompasses both proprioceptive training and balance exercises.

Rehabilitation programs often incorporate functional exercises that simulate your daily or sporting activities to ensure a safe and effective return to full activity. 

Remember, your compliance and commitment to the customized exercise program are vital for a successful outcome in managing your hip impingement through physiotherapy.

Lifestyle and Prevention

Managing hip impingement often involves more than just medical treatments; your daily habits and activities play a significant role. By modifying your routines and incorporating preventive strategies, you can actively contribute to the management of your condition and possibly reduce the risk of further injury.

Daily Activities & Modifications

Prolonged Sitting: If your job involves extended periods of sitting, make sure to take regular breaks to stand and walk around. Consider using an ergonomic chair that allows you to sit in a position of hip flexion that is below the degree that you are symptomatic. Saddle or kneeling chairs can be a great option.

  • Running/Jumping: High-impact activities like running and jumping can exacerbate hip pain, so you may need to switch to lower-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling for a period of time while you work on strength/stability.

Align your activities with the management of your hip impingement; remember that small changes can make a big difference.

Preventive Strategies

For Athletes: If you’re an athlete, focus on exercises that strengthen the muscles around your hip joint. This not only helps in symptom management but may also prevent further injury. Consult with a physical therapist who can tailor a program specifically to your needs.

  • Incorporate appropriate flexibility, soft tissue work and strength training into your routine to maintain a balanced musculature.
  • Be mindful of your body’s signals; rest when necessary to avoid overexertion.

Your active participation through these lifestyle modifications is crucial for effective management and prevention of hip impingement.


The fact is we are still learning how to BEST manage FAI’s. We know what to avoid and how to adapt but because of the variability of the issue, we can not definitely say that a certain group of muscles will always be weaker.

Testing is REALLY important with this cohort.

Exercise and rehab prescriptions must be well planned in order to provide patients with the best chance of recovery.

Additionally, if you’re dealing with hip pain or suspected femoroacetabular impingement syndrome, engaging in guided physical therapy will likely be beneficial. Your regimen should be tailored to your individual needs.

Should you experience chronic hip pain or symptoms of hip impingement, consider reaching out to a professional. Proper diagnosis and early treatment are key to improving outcomes.

For those in the Saskatoon area, Vangool Wellness offers a range of services designed to address hip pain and improve mobility. They can provide personalized care plans to support your recovery.

Remember, you don’t have to accept hip pain as a part of life. Help is available, and you can take steps to enhance your hip function. It’s important to consult with healthcare professionals to get a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Physiotherapy may improve pain and function.
  • Personalized exercises are vital for recovery.
  • Early intervention leads to better outcomes.
  • Visit Vangool Wellness for specialized care.

Fall Prevention Physiotherapy: Reducing the Risk of Falls in Older Adults

Fall Prevention Physiotherapy: Reducing the Risk of Falls in Older Adults

Are you concerned about the risk of falling as you age? Falls are a major health concern for older adults, often leading to serious injuries and hospitalizations. However, there are steps you can take to prevent falls and stay safe and healthy. One effective approach is fall prevention physiotherapy, which focuses on improving balance, strength, and mobility to reduce the risk of falls.

Fall prevention physiotherapy is a specialized form of physical therapy designed to help older adults maintain their independence and quality of life. By working with a trained physiotherapist, you can develop a personalized exercise and rehabilitation program that targets your specific needs and goals. This may include exercises to improve balance and coordination, strength training to build muscle and bone density, and mobility training to improve flexibility and range of motion.

At Vangool Wellness in Saskatoon, we offer comprehensive fall prevention physiotherapy services to help you stay safe and healthy as you age. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your first appointment.

Understanding Fall Risks

Falls are a common problem, especially among older people. They can cause serious injuries and even lead to disability or death. Understanding the risk factors associated with falls is key to preventing them. In this section, we will explore the age-related factors, common risk factors for falls, and the role of health conditions.

Age-Related Factors

As you age, your body undergoes changes that can increase your risk of falling. For example, your muscles may weaken, your balance may be affected, and your vision may decline. Additionally, older people are more likely to have chronic health conditions that can affect mobility, such as arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Common Risk Factors for Falls

Certain factors can increase your risk of falling, regardless of your age. These include:

  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Weakness in the legs or feet
  • Vision problems
  • Medications that can cause dizziness or drowsiness
  • Environmental hazards, such as uneven flooring or poor lighting

The Role of Health Conditions

Certain health conditions can also increase your risk of falling. For example, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty with balance and coordination. Those who have had a stroke may experience weakness on one side of the body, which can affect mobility. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, making it harder to sense changes in balance.

In conclusion, falls can be prevented by understanding the risk factors associated with them. Age-related factors, common risk factors, and health conditions all play a role in fall prevention. By addressing these factors through physiotherapy and other interventions, you can reduce your risk of falling and maintain your independence.

What’s Involved in Fall Prevention Physiotherapy?

When it comes to fall prevention, physiotherapy interventions are an effective way to reduce the risk of falls. Here are some of the key interventions that physiotherapists may use to help you prevent falls.

Exercise Programs and Routines

One of the most important physiotherapy interventions for fall prevention is exercise. A physiotherapist can design an exercise program or routine that is tailored to your specific needs and abilities. This may include exercises that focus on improving your strength, balance, and mobility. 


PhysioYoga is a great example of a program that helps people build strength and prevent falls. Check out these results of this study: 

Yoga for Neuro Conditions: Meta Analysis

  • Preliminary results suggest Yoga has greatest effect compared to control (exercise group or non-intervention group) in areas of:
    • Balance
    • Fatigue
    • Quality of Life
    • Depression
    • Pain

L.Clay, L.Ward, A.Vangool, 2015.

RELATED READING: What is PhysioYoga?

Strength and Balance Training

Strength and balance training are two key components of any fall prevention exercise program. Strength training can help you build muscle mass and improve your overall strength, while balance training can help you improve your balance and stability.

Mobility and Gait Enhancement

Mobility and gait enhancement are also important components of fall prevention physiotherapy interventions. A physiotherapist may use exercises and interventions to help you improve your ability to move around safely and effectively, as well as your ability to walk or run without falling.

Overall, physiotherapy interventions can be an effective way to reduce the risk of falls and improve your overall health and wellbeing. By working with a physiotherapist, you can develop an exercise program or routine that is tailored to your specific needs and abilities, helping you stay safe and healthy for years to come.

What to Expect During Fall Prevention Physiotherapy

Conducting a Thorough Assessment

When it comes to fall prevention physiotherapy, a thorough assessment is key to developing an effective treatment plan. During your initial consultation, your physiotherapist will ask you about your medical history, any medications you are taking, and any previous falls you may have had. They will also perform a physical examination to assess your strength, balance, and mobility.

One common test used during fall prevention assessments is the Timed Up and Go Test. This test involves timing how long it takes you to stand up from a chair, walk a short distance, turn around, and sit back down again. Your physiotherapist may also use the Berg Balance Scale, which assesses your balance and risk of falling.

Creating Personalized Care Plans

After conducting a thorough assessment, your physiotherapist will create a personalized care plan tailored to your specific needs and abilities. This may include exercises to improve your strength and balance, as well as recommendations for modifications to your home environment to reduce fall risk.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s needs and abilities are different, which is why personalized care plans are so crucial in fall prevention physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist will work with you to create a plan that is achievable and effective for you, taking into account any limitations or challenges you may face.

By working with a physiotherapist and following a personalized care plan, you can reduce your risk of falls and improve your overall quality of life.


In conclusion, fall prevention physiotherapy is an effective way to reduce the risk of falls in older adults. By improving strength, balance, and mobility, physiotherapy can help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life.

It is important to remember that fall prevention is not a one-time solution, but a continuous effort. By incorporating regular physiotherapy sessions into your routine, you can ensure that you are maintaining your physical health and reducing your risk of falls.

At Vangool Wellness in Saskatoon, we offer a range of physiotherapy services to help you prevent falls and maintain your independence. Our experienced physiotherapists can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take action now to prevent falls and maintain your quality of life. Visit Vangool Wellness today to learn more about our fall prevention physiotherapy services.

What is PhysioYoga?

What is PhysioYoga?


PhysioYoga is a practice that combines the principles of physiotherapy and yoga to help improve physical health and overall well-being. This approach to healthcare has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its holistic approach to healing and its ability to treat a wide range of conditions. Whether you are dealing with chronic pain, recovering from an injury, or simply looking to improve your physical fitness, PhysioYoga can help.

The practice of PhysioYoga is based on the idea that the body is a complex system that requires balance and harmony to function properly. This approach to healthcare focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of physical problems rather than simply treating the symptoms. By combining the principles of physiotherapy and yoga, PhysioYoga practitioners are able to provide a comprehensive approach to healing that addresses both the physical and mental aspects of health.

With its focus on holistic healing and its ability to treat a wide range of conditions, PhysioYoga is quickly becoming one of the most popular approaches to healthcare today. If you are interested in learning more about PhysioYoga and how it can benefit your health, reach out to us at Vangool Wellness.

What is PhysioYoga?

PhysioYoga is a holistic approach to health care that combines the benefits of yoga practice with the principles of physiotherapy. It is a form of rehabilitation that focuses on the mind, breath, body, and spirit to promote balance and healing.

PhysioYoga is suitable for anyone, including those with injuries or chronic pain. It is particularly effective for those recovering from physical injuries, as it helps to improve strength, mobility, endurance, and circulation, while reducing pain and promoting self-awareness.

The practice of PhysioYoga involves a combination of yoga poses, breathing exercises, meditation, and mindful movement. It is taught by a certified PhysioYoga teacher or a physiotherapist with additional training in yoga therapy.

PhysioYoga is an integrative approach to health care that takes into account the whole person, including biopsychosocial-spiritual factors. It is especially useful for those with pelvic health issues, as it includes specific core strategies and poses to improve pelvic floor health.

Benefits of PhysioYoga

This unique approach to yoga provides a range of benefits for both the mind and body. Here are some of the benefits of PhysioYoga:

  • Improved balance: PhysioYoga can help improve your balance by strengthening your core muscles and improving your body awareness. This can be particularly beneficial for seniors or individuals with balance issues.
  • Reduction of pain: PhysioYoga can help reduce pain by addressing the root cause of the pain. By combining yoga poses with physiotherapy techniques, PhysioYoga can help improve mobility, endurance, and circulation, which can all contribute to a reduction in pain.
  • Increased self-awareness: PhysioYoga can help increase your self-awareness by encouraging you to focus on your breath and body. This can help you become more mindful of your movements and actions, which can lead to a greater sense of control and empowerment.
  • Holistic approach: PhysioYoga takes a holistic approach to health care, addressing the whole person rather than just the physical symptoms. This approach can be particularly beneficial for individuals with chronic pain or injuries.
  • Improved pelvic floor health: PhysioYoga can help improve pelvic floor health by teaching individuals how to engage and relax their pelvic floor muscles. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with pelvic health issues such as pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, or pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Evidence-informed: PhysioYoga is an evidence-informed practice, meaning that it is based on scientific research and clinical expertise. This ensures that the practice is safe and effective for individuals of all ages and abilities.

PhysioYoga is a unique and effective approach that can provide a range of benefits for both the mind and body. By combining the principles of physiotherapy with yoga practices, PhysioYoga can help patients recover from injuries, reduce pain, and improve their overall health and well-being.

If you’re interested in trying a PhysioYoga class, reach out to us at Vangool Wellness in Saskatoon.

Do You Suffer From Migraines, Jaw Pain, Clicking, or Difficulty Chewing?

Do You Suffer From Migraines, Jaw Pain, Clicking, or Difficulty Chewing?

Did you know that physiotherapy and massage therapy can treat a variety of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunctions and disorders (TMD). The TMJ is a hinge joint just in front of the ears that is controlled by a variety of different muscles and allows you to talk, chew, yawn — essentially open and close your mouth.

TMD encompasses a variety of different problems that can occur to that joint. Symptoms can present as direct pain to the joint, clicking, reduced movement (opening or closing), as well as referred pain to the face, neck, and headaches /migraines.

Whether this issue is something new, or you have been experiencing clicking and pain for years, we widget-areacan help!

Oral Ties

Back in June, Dr. Ashley Slovack from Broadway Dental presented at Vangool Wellness on Oral/Tongue ties and how they affect our sleep, breathing, growth and development. This can impact individuals at all ages and stages of life and be the reason for sleep obstructive disorders, neck and jaw pain, headaches/migraines and so much more. As physiotherapist, we work closely with Dental Partners within the city to help assess, treat, and refer for oral/tongue ties.

If you missed the presentation and would like to learn more, contact us and we will send you a recording of the presentation.