NEUROLOGIST IN TENNESSEE? (Chattanooga, Cleveland, or Crossville)

Between CHATTANOOGA, TN; CROSSVILLE, TN; & CLEVELAND, TN..... My dad's neurologist seems unopen to using anything except prescriptions with him. Can someone suggest A NEUROLOGIST IN OUR AREA who will discuss supplements, exercise, movement specialists, etc. in addition to his prescriptions? Thanks!

12 Replies

  • you don't need a doctor for exercise. For me Crossfit is the way to go.

    list of crossfit in Chattanooga tn

    CrossFit Brigade

    1 review · Gym

    626 Cherokee Blvd · (423) 402-0450

    Open until 8:00 PM



    Get Built

    4 reviews · Gym

    301 W Main St · (423) 240-5355



    Crossfit Mayday

    3 reviews · Physical Fitness Program

    8142 E Brainerd Rd · (423) 602-7044

    Open until 8:00 PM

    That decision can be made by your dad. Find some thing he likes. walking, running, boxing, crossfit,biking hiking,weight lifting,swimming,yoga, dancing,

    Walking outside or in a mall


    Yoga classes

    Tai Chi classes

    Stepping over obstacles

    Marching to music with big arm swings

    Sports (ping pong, golf, tennis, volleyball)

    Aerobic/Jazzercise classes

    Riding a stationary bicycle without doing other activities

    Weight lifting

    Treadmill walking at a slow speed

    Lap swimming can be very habitual and also automatic.

    What types of exercise are best for people with Parkinson’s disease?

    There is increasing evidence that aerobic and learning-based exercises could be neuroprotective in aging individuals and those with neurodegenerative disease. Facilitating exercise programs that challenge our heart and lungs as well as promote good biomechanics, good posture, trunk rotation and normal rhythmic, symmetric movements are the best. Dancing to music may be particularly good for decreasing stiffness.

    Although research on this subject is ongoing, it does appear that beyond aerobic activities performed with healthy movement patterns, exercises challenging the individual to change tempo, activity, or direction (what is referred to as “random practice” exercise) benefits people with Parkinson’s disease. It is also important to keep variety in exercise activities, because individuals with Parkinson’s disease often have difficulty in shifting from one activity to another or in performing two activities at the same time. Exercises that require balance and preparatory adjustment of the body are also important along with rhythmic activities such as dancing, skipping and cycling can maintain the ability to perform reciprocal movements. Finally, exercises that promote attention and learning are beneficial.

    Types of exercises that do this:

    Walking outside or in a mall


    Yoga classes

    Tai Chi classes

    Stepping over obstacles

    Marching to music with big arm swings

    Sports (ping pong, golf, tennis, volleyball)

    Aerobic/Jazzercise classes

    Types of exercises that promote cardiopulmonary fitness:

    Paced walking (treadmill walking at different speeds and different inclines)

    Hiking using walking sticks

    Swimming with different strokes with the eyes open and closed (+)not only challenge motor learning but also increase heart rate and provide good cardiopulmonary conditioning.

    New bodyweight-supported treadmills can also be helpful to protect from falling, and to facilitate easier coordinated movements for fast walking with a long stride or jogging.

    Types of exercise that do NOT challenge motor planning:

    Riding a stationary bicycle without doing other activities

    Weight lifting

    Treadmill walking at a slow speed

    Lap swimming can be very habitual and also automatic.

    These exercises for cardiovascular, endurance and strengthening could be enriched by performing simultaneous activities such as reading, writing, problem solving, singing, watching the news or a movie or throwing and catching balls. Exercises that demand attention, repetition, progression of difficulty with spaced practice over time are the best exercise routines to promote learning.

    You can purchase learning programs from Positscience and Lumosity. Currently, Dr. Dowling and Dr. Melnick in collaboration with Red Hills Studio are developing fun motor learning programs that can improve posture and balance. The Wii sports games and balance activities may be generally fun and helpful (Wii Study at UCSF).

    Activities in a standing position strengthen legs

    Pushing up to rise on the toes

    Modified squats

    Repetitively rising and sitting from a chair

    Wearing ankle and wrist weights around the house or out on a walk

    Push-ups or wall push-ups for arms

    Light weights are just as effective as heavy weights in maintaining muscle tone and do not increase stiffness as much. Walking with ankle and wrist weights can help strengthen while encouraging increased awareness of arm swinging and high stepping. Moderation is the best word for strength training without other forms of exercise. However, integrating strengthening and flexibility exercises into aerobic, rhythmic and learning-based exercise routines that are fun, engaging, progressing in difficulty and rewarding are the best.

    What about swimming?

    Swimming provides good cardiopulmonary training and maintains muscle strength. However, lap swimming does not challenge balance or stimulate variety of movements. Therefore, lap swimming is a second-choice activity. However, since the arms, legs and head may be doing different things, it may increase coordination. The resistance of the water increases stiffness in some people and decreases it in others.

    Activities to try:

    Adding resistance with paddles and trunk support – provides more opportunity for reciprocal movements and circling movements of the arms and the legs

    Rolling and somersaults – in the pool are good for those who are particularly comfortable in the water


    For individuals with Parkinson’s disease who have difficulty in breathing, swimming may not be a comfortable aerobic activity. Thus, swimming may be an appropriate choice of exercise for individuals who have enjoyed it in the past and are comfortable with the techniques and those with musculoskeletal conditions particularly of the knee and back. Swimming using certain strokes can also help increase shoulder range of motion.

    Will exercise make my muscles less stiff?

    Exercises that require large, rhythmical movements through a full range of motion have been shown to decrease rigidity. For example, in a program of aerobic exercise using music, there was a reduction in rigidity in 9 out of 10 participants immediately after the exercise program.

    Exercises to decrease stiffness:

    Large, rhythmical movements

    Rotating the trunk

    Vibration, rocking and swinging

    Other considerations to decrease stiffness:

    Avoiding tremors (e.g. touching the limb that is shaking to quiet the movement) can also decrease tension

    Decreasing stress in ones life – having fun, thinking positively about planning and carrying out challenging, socially engaging and learning-based activities

    Cooling or warming the tense extremity can sometimes be helpful.

    When should I exercise in relation to medication?

    The best time to exercise is when mobility is best. For individuals who take medications for Parkinson’s disease, the best level of function often occurs about 1 hour after a dose of medications. The answer to this question varies by individual. The individual reaction to the medication is also important.

    How often should I exercise?

    The guidelines for people with Parkinson’s disease are no different from those without the disease (i.e. 4-5 times a week for at least 30-40 minutes). This assumes that your heart is beating at 70 to 80% of maximum (220 – your age times 70 or 80%).

    Make the exercise time fun:

    Engage in group exercise, movement or dancing classes. For many, participating in activities with other people, can be more stimulating and increase compliance.

    Stay active and integrate exercise into your usual day:

    Walk whenever possible instead of driving

    Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator

    Take regular 5 minute breaks every 30 minutes (lifting the arms up over your head, performing wall glides, breathing diaphragmatically, getting up to get a glass of water, or putting theraband on chairs to work on some strengthening)

    Avoid long periods of time watching TV and or using a computer

    Is there anything else I should know?

    A “cool-down period” is important. After exercise, allow yourself a longer time for a cool-down than others would need (Individuals who exercised before developing Parkinson’s disease typically double their cool-down time).

    A cool-down period accomplishes 2 goals:

    1) Promotes a slow decrease in heart rate

    2) Allows the muscles time to cool down gradually so they do not become stiff.

    A cool-down period consists of the same exercise activity but at a progressively slower pace. During the cool-down, all muscles need to go through a slow, full range of motion. If you feel exhausted and want to fall asleep immediately after exercise, then you are not cooling down slowly enough.

    Learn something new every day:

    If you listen to the news, talk to someone about it. Listen to educational programs and discuss what you learned. Do crossword puzzles or participate in memory training programs on the web or from a CD.

    Challenge yourself to go out each day:

    If you are retired, consider volunteering your time to help others ( e.g. Red Cross, Meals on Wheels). Move about in the community and learn the tricks of keeping your eyes on a target to improve stability. Carry a cane to let people know that it would be best not to bump you.

    Practice writing:

    Learn to hold your pen lightly and write with big cursive type movements. Consider making the surface of your pen rough or sticky. This will help decrease the force of your squeezing the pen. Write by moving the whole arm, not just the fingers. Practice writing to music and even say the words out loud as you write. Circle making big movements. Get a drawing pad from a toy store where your can lift up the writing surface and erase your practice strokes.

    Exercise your voice:

    Talk slowly, clearly and loudly with a lot of expression of your eyes and your face. Have everyone speak loudly and slowly. If you find you continue to talk softly and quickly and people are having difficulty understanding you, then ask a friend to read and record some passages from a book. Then you put the head set on and hear your friends voice as you read the same passages. This may strengthen the learning.

    When should I request a referral for Physical Therapy?

    When first diagnosed, all patients should have a consultation with a physical therapist to define the appropriate exercise program tailored to “you”. This will also establish a baseline of your current physical status.

    Ideally, all patients with PD should have a good fitness program as well as specific exercises to maintain good posture and balance as well as improve symmetry in flexibility and strength. Then, one may benefit from a consultation with a physical therapist when signs and symptoms increase the risk for falling or limit comfortable community mobility and confidence. The therapist will also work on improving gait with practice using visual and auditory cues, as well as without those cues.

    As the disease progresses, periodic re-evaluations are helpful to assure your exercise program is having the maximum benefit. A program of individualized exercises addressing posture, balance and gait has been shown to be beneficial in decreasing the risk of falling. In some cases, where balance or musculoskeletal problems develop, supervised outpatient treatments a few times per week may be helpful for a few weeks.

    Safe mobility may be enhanced by using a bodyweight supported treadmill to minimize discomfort, assure stability, decrease the fear of falling and facilitate normal movement. (Available with Dr. Nancy Byl's Neurofit program at UCSF Mission Bay)

    In addition to physical exercise, it is important for everyone to maintain a high level of learning-based exercise activities to improve the ability to do multiple tasks simultaneously and safely without falling. The combination of learning-based memory training, aerobic exercise, over ground gait practice and integrative, engaging activities in the community are essential to positive health and well being despite aging or neurodegenerative disease.

    Are there techniques to help me walk?

    Often individuals with Parkinson’s disease have problems with abruptly halting or “freezing,” when walking.

    To help decrease freezing, try:

    Reciprocal arm swinging

    High long steps

    Scanning the environment and using visual fixation on an object in the distance or auditory cues (listening to music, singing to yourself, counting)

    Thinking about making big steps to clear obstacles on the floor or marching (high steps)

    Walking hand-in-hand, swinging the arms with a friend or family member

    Having someone place their foot in front of you as a cue to step high and over

    One person found that throwing pennies and stepping over them was helpful (“But,” he added, “don’t bend down to pick them up.”).

    Loud rhythmical clapping

    Paced walking with high stepping.

    Using walking sticks (using them for sensory feedback and sense of stability may be more important than using a cane. Of course, using a cane or a walker can be helpful if there is a lot of weakness and stiffness.)

    Pushing one’s self to stay active should be the goal.

    Are there hints to help me get out of bed?

    For some people with Parkinson’s disease, getting out of bed may become difficult. First, you might practice rolling on your bed. Roll back and forth and get a rhythm. Then with some momentum, roll to your side and come to sitting. You might have a dresser near the side of your bed so you could touch the dresser for stability if you need to.

    When specifically trying to come to sitting from lying in bed, roll over on your side. Push on your elbow and let your feet come over the edge of the bed and then sit up at the edge. Sit there for a minute to adjust and then rise to stand and then walk. This technique is not only easier but better for your back.

    Techniques to make it easier to move around in bed:

    Wear satin pajamas or use satin sheets (but not both).

    Practice standing up and sitting down quickly from a chair without using your handsto improve your transitional movement skills

    Practice getting up quickly from a chair and taking a few big steps and then turn around and go sit back down.

    Practice safe skills by climbing and descending stairs.

    If you are seeing a physical therapist, the last three bullets are some of the activities that should be practiced.

    What is 'forced use' exercise?

    Frequently patients with Parkinson’s disease have one limb or one side that is more involved. It is easy to stop using the more involved side because it is too difficult. This leads to overuse of the lesser affected side and neglect of the more affected side. This disuse of the affected limb can lead to a worsening of the signs and symptoms. There is evidence that constraining the least affected side, and forcing the use of the more affected side can lead to improved function and increased “mindfulness” of the limb.

    Forced use and constraining the least affected side has been effective in driving neural adaptation. This has been demonstrated in animal studies with drug induced PD. It has also been demonstrated in patients post-stroke. This forced use can be enhanced not only by physical practice, but mental practice as well. Each day, time should be spent on strengthening, range of motion, task performance and coordination exercises of the more involved limb. Force yourself to do as many tasks as possible with the involved upper limb, using the other limb only to help stabilization. In addition, do some drills like tap the fingers, tap the wrist and then tap the forearm moving from the elbow as fast as possible. You can also practice turning the palm up and down as fast as possible, throwing and catching balls, putting small objects in small containers, taking your index finger to quickly touch objects that are moving those that and still. Do similar activities with the leg.

    This principle of targeting specific task-oriented use of an extremity is similar to forcing yourself to exercise at an intense versus a low level. ‘Forced,’ in this context, means that you work harder than you would usually work. In other words, in your general exercise routine, you want to work with a faster speed and potentially for a longer period to keep your nervous system and your cardiovascular system adaptable and responsive. This will also allow your nervous system to respond more crisply when faced with unexpected and surprise events. This will also facilitate better balance responses and improved postural alignment.

  • Bailey THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I will print this off and give it to my parents. I can picture him doing some of these and some together with us! Gonna take our WII over to let him try out the WII FIT and WII SPORTS and also fun games! We played badminton often as a family before Parkinsons. He gets so exhausted now very quickly...but maybe we'll give it a go again? Carefully. We can go on short walks and careful hikes. Soooo many great ideas! Light weight training! I will review this list often. Although we often play board games and card games together....we shy away from the more physical activities due to tiredness and other PD symptoms. I know he still gardens, mows, works on cars, tractor etc. Maybe challenging himself with some of these new activities can also be a big encouragement! Have a beautiful day!

  • Try this link (shows 2 within 50 mi. of Chattanooga, TN):

    Riddle of the Day - Q: How do you know when a crossfitter is in the room? A: He/she will tell you! :D

  • good one

  • whack-a-mole riddle made me laugh out loud. And Bailey, you should write a book - what a great resource of information.

  • Whack a mole when is ur book out? Great sense of humor

  • Hah! Thx Tribs, but I don't think a few 'drive-by' shots at humor could merit a book... cheers.

  • Thanks i will check it out whackamole!

  • whack-a-mole we are looking into these 2 movement specialist Drs.. providing they are in his insurance plan! THANK YOU!

  • WhackAMole, just printed off an application to see Dr. Taylor Bear (cute name huh?) in Cleveland TN. Will take this to Dad.

  • my wife is from Whittwell Tn just down 127 from Crossville a little pass Dunlap (63 miles). Love it back there.

  • It's beautiful and quaint around here! 😌

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