How to Golf With Parkinson's

By Julia Derek

As of Dec. 10, 2009, Parkinson's disease is an incurable illness. Dr. N. K. Chew defines it as "a brain disorder that occurs when certain nerve cells or neurons in the brain die or become impaired." Symptoms of the disease include tremors of the hands, legs, arms and jaw; movements slowing down; rigidity; balance and coordination impairments; cramped handwriting; stiff facial expressions; a shuffling walk; speech difficulties; and depression. The cause of the disease is unknown. According to Parkinsonsnsw.org.au, "All treatments aim to control symptoms but none can yet prevent progression of the disease."

Golfing With Parkinson's

Find a golfing support group when you have been diagnosed with Parkinson's, especially if your symptoms are severe. It is easier to cope with your new life when surrounded by like individuals.

Exercise. Stay as active as possible. According to parkinsonsnsw.org.au, "Overall fitness and good muscle tone can help minimise some of the abnormal movements associated with Parkinson's disease."

Find a good physical therapist who can show you good exercises to improve your impaired motor skills. Ask him to give you exercises you can do at home to help your golf game.

Relax when you are on the golf course. Never push yourself too much as this can exacerbate tremors. Stay positive and only do what you feel you can do.

Adjust your medication intakes. Tom Sullivan, a member of the Connecticut Parkinson's Working Group, said "group members time their medications according to teeoff schedules."

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