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Managing Movement Disorders

The Rush Copley Movement Disorders Program provides management of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, spasmodic torticollis, pediatric and adult spasticity and cerebral palsy through surgery and support services to help patients maximize their movement, coordination, and quality of life.

What Are Movement Disorders?

Movement disorders are neurological conditions that affect a person's ability to control his or her movement. They can make simple daily activities extremely challenging for patients with these conditions.

It’s estimated that 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from a movement disorder. Some disorders cause involuntary movement while others can prevent certain movements.

About Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination.  Affecting both men and women, Parkinson's disease is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly. Symptoms may affect one or both sides of the body and may be slight at first.


  • Automatic movement
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Impaired balance and walking
  • Lack of expression in the face (mask-like appearance)
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Rigid or stiff muscles
  • Slowed, quieter speech and monotone voice
Art Therapy

Art Therapy for Movement Disorders

Through the art making experience and therapeutic relationship, individuals express and examine feelings, learn about cause and effect relationships, improve problem-solving patterns, promote social skills, develop responsibility and independence, cope with symptoms, and enhance self-esteem.

How is art making beneficial?
When involved in a group setting, participation reduces feelings of isolation, stimulates connections with others and provides opportunities to be part of a larger community.  Sometimes emotions that are unknown, uncomfortable, or too difficult to share verbally can be communicated through images, colors and shapes.

What are some examples of goals?
Everyone approaches art therapy differently, based on life experiences and familiarity with art materials.  Previous skill or knowledge of art is never necessary.   The whole person is the focus of treatment, but each person will have a preference for working on areas that create the most concern for their daily functioning and well-being.  These might include changing family and social relationships, new perspectives of independence and self confidence, communication challenges and changes in general coping skills.

What does an art therapy session look like?
Every session is unique, but individuals will be offered a variety of art materials.  Following some instruction, if needed, they will have the opportunity to explore with them.  The art therapist will provide assistance, encourage reflection or simply allow the creative process to unfold.

Benefits for People with Movement Disorders:

  • Provides the opportunity to make choices and decisions to regain control (empowering)
  • Creates connections internally and externally to those that are going through similar difficulties, reducing isolation
  • Increases self-esteem, self-worth, self-love
  • Provides a safe space for individuals to express what cannot be expressed with words (grief, anger, depression, etc.)
  • Connects the left and right sides of the brain, leading to healing and growth
  • Excellent tool for pain management
  • Provides an opportunity for an individual to exercise his/her hands and eyes; improving hand-eye coordination and stimulating neurological pathways from the brain to the hands.
  • Stress reduction and relaxation.

Join Us

October 3, 17, 31, November 14
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Rush Copley Heart Institute, 2088 Ogden Avenue, Aurora

Call 630-499-6619 for more information or to register.

Coping with Parkinson's

Exercise Classes

These free land and water classes are designed to benefit people with Parkinson’s by using exercise to help manage symptoms.

Emphasis is placed on exercises to improve balance, posture, flexibility, range of motion, coordination and gait. All levels of fitness ability are welcome.

Rush Copley Healthplex
Land: Tuesday, Thursday, 1-2 p.m.
Water: Friday, 1-2 p.m.

Please call 630-978-6280 for more information, the next class date or to register.

Support Group

The Parkinson’s Support Group provides information about living with Parkinson’s disease. You’ll learn about resources and programs that can help enhance your quality of life and have the opportunity to share your experiences with others. Join us to be part of our comforting and understanding community.

  • Rush Copley Heart Institute
    2088 Ogden Avenue, Aurora
    Conference Room
    First Wednesday of every month
    10 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Rush Copley Healthcare Center
    1100 W. Veterans Parkway, Yorkville
    Community Room
    Second Wednesday of every month
    1:30 to 3 p.m.

Family Caregiver Seminar

This is a free two-hour seminar for spouses, relatives, or friends who care for or live with someone who has Parkinson’s disease.

Join us for a morning of learning and sharing for PD caregivers only. This year’s program features caregivers who are embracing the challenges or their role. You will have the opportunity to interact with others who share many of the same struggles and victories as you and to offer your own pearls of wisdom.

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Physical Rehabilitation

Improving quality of life with help from Rush Copley Physical Rehabilitation Center. Rush Copley's Physical Rehabilitation Center believes in turning disabilities into possibilities. We bring together the most advanced technologies, current knowledge and dedicated, experienced professionals in order to improve the quality of life for our patients.

Our rehabilitation team provides complete care for movement disorders including medical treatment for illness and therapeutic treatment designed to restore patients to improved function and wellness and Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) and Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) for the assessment and treatment of balance and vestibular difficulties. 

Pain Management

The Rush Copley Interventional Pain Clinic provides both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for patients experiencing acute or chronic pain. At the Pain Clinic, our physicians tailor your unique treatment plan to meet your individual needs based on consultations with you.

Rush Copley Pain Clinic's board-certified pain management specialists are here to help you with specialized care. Our goals are completely patient-focused and specific to you. We want to help you increase function, alleviate your pain and learn skills to improve your quality of life.