BEYOND THE BREAK
Physical Therapy Helps With Stroke Recovery, Parkinson’s, and More
Take a Break! Parkinson’s disease afflicts the central nervous system and makes movement difficult, and its symptoms can also be mitigated by physical therapy. Denise Padilla-Davidson, a Johns Hopkins physical therapist who treats people with Parkinson’s, recommends PT to her patients for improving their balance, strength, and flexibility. Specifically, bike or elliptical exercises can help those with Parkinson’s remaster reciprocal patterns (movements from side to side or left to right). There’s also a In TV dramas, physical therapists often urge the hero back into action. Usually, their patient has suffered some dramatic injury, like breaking every bone in the right side of their body or losing a leg to a rampaging horse. And while many physical therapists do specialize in helping athletes recover from injuries, applications for the practice go well beyond that stereotype. People battling the aftereffects of a stroke or suffering from long-term ailments like Parkinson’s disease can also benefit from regular physical therapy sessions. In fact, the National Stroke Association lists a physical therapist as a vital member of any stroke recovery team, placing them alongside experts like dietitians, psychiatrists, neurologists, and speech- language pathologists. In those cases, physical therapists are on hand to help stroke survivors with movement and balance issues and to recommend exercises that rebuild strong muscles for walking, standing, and other everyday activities.
form of therapy called LSVT BIG, which involves performing exaggerated physical movements, and it can help those with the disease stave off hypokinesia, which is the decrease of movement that becomes more severe as Parkinson’s progresses. Similar physical therapy programs can be adapted for those with other chronic diseases, like multiple sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease, by slowing the disease’s progress and making the people who have them more capable and comfortable. Of course, treatments vary on a case-to-case basis, so be sure to consult your doctor before starting PT.
ROASTED CORN SALSA Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced
2 medium ears of corn, shucked
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine.
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5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.
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