Parkinson’s: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatment

Parkinson's syndrome (Parkinson's disease) is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases of the nervous system. Around 15,000 people with Parkinson's live in Switzerland.

Men and women are affected about equally often. As the disease progresses, those affected are usually restricted in their ability to move, e.g. when getting out of bed or walking. Some patients’ balance is so severely impaired that they often fall.


The drug therapy usually required or the insertion of a deep brain stimulator do not cure the disease, but alleviate the symptoms. It has been proven that intensive physical activity has a positive influence on the course of the disease and quality of life. In physiotherapy and occupational therapy, suitable exercises and strategies are instructed with the aim of encouraging those affected to exercise independently on a daily basis.

Gait safety and fall prevention

  • Experts recommend targeted gait training, strengthening the legs and daily walking training to reduce the risk of falling. During an individual consultation in the physiotherapy department, stumbling blocks are identified together and adjustments as well as tips and tricks for everyday life are discussed.
  • Phases of movement blockages (freezing) often occur during the course of the disease. This makes it difficult for those affected to stand up, start walking or turn around. Targeted strategies (visual, auditory input) can be used to overcome some of these blockages.

Hand motor skills

  • Fine motor restrictions: Fine motor skills may be restricted due to severe tremors in the arms/hands or also due to blockages. Occupational therapy can provide valuable methods/strategies for dealing with this better.
  • Advice on aids: Particularly in the area of limited hand motor skills, there are various problems in the everyday life of those affected, e.g. when eating with cutlery, drinking from a glass, etc. In order to be able to perform these activities better again, occupational therapy advises those affected on the use of everyday aids.
  • Writing training: The handwriting of people with Parkinson’s often deteriorates as the disease progresses. Occupational therapy offers targeted writing training to counteract the symptoms.

Swallowing assessment and therapy

  • During the inpatient stay, possible swallowing problems are assessed in detail by the FOT (Facio Oral Tract) therapists.
  • Those affected are advised on possible diet and consistency adjustments
  • Possible assistance (posture, use of aids, etc.) and compensation techniques with regard to swallowing are offered and trained

The physiotherapy team offers a special group therapy to learn a specific home program.

Information on the Parkinson's training group

Recommendations from guidelines and findings from studies have shown that balance and walking can be positively influenced by training.

Exercises from the group therapy are adapted to the individual performance level and should be performed 3 times a week at home. You will receive the exercises in writing as a small book. There is also space for personal exchange during the lesson.

Trial training: by prior arrangement

Training location

University Hospital Zurich
Physiotherapy Occupational Therapy North A1 207


Start: Mondays, 12.00-13.00 hrs
Start each calendar week 4, 19, 39

Requirements for you

  • Walk safely without aids
  • Willingness to learn exercises and do them alone at home

Definitive registration

Send us:

  • the completed registration form
  • New physiotherapy prescription signed by the doctor

Please note

Please bring: Comfortable clothing; non-slip socks or clean shoes, sufficient checkrooms are available

Cancellation of therapy: In exceptional cases or in the event of illness, cancel by telephone up to the day before, appointment will then not be charged

Contact persons

Ms. Daniela Hurni, physiotherapist
Frauenklinikstr. 26, 8091 Zurich
Tel. + 41 44 255 55 82

For patients

The therapy services are primarily available to patients of the USZ. The prescription for the therapy is issued and sent by your doctor. As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation/therapy.

For referrer

Easily assign your patient online.

Tel. +41 44 255 23 74

University Hospital Zurich
Physiotherapy Occupational Therapy
Gloriastrasse 25
8091 Zurich

Assign online

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