Bramall Lane and a former Blades manager are assisting in a new initiative to slow the effects of Parkinson's.
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disorder that affects approximately 1 in every 500 people in the UK.
Traditional physiotherapy has been aimed at people who have had Parkinson's for a length of time and is geared to treating the symptoms and ongoing problems. Recently a new treatment has been developed in Australia by two physiotherapists, Melissa McConaghy and Lynn Tullock, for people newly diagnosed with Parkinson's. This concept uses an exercise philosophy designed to help slow Parkinson's, based on the latest evidence that high intensity exercise can be seen as medicine and does have an effect on the brain, especially if incorporated early after diagnosis. The proactive approach to exercise has been shown to improve quality of life.
The concept is called PD Warrior and is now being run in Sheffield. Two physiotherapists from the Hallamshire Physiotherapy Clinic in Broomhill, Bhanu Ramaswamy and Karen Hodgson, have become instructors and are now unique in the region for offering this programme.
PD Warrior is aimed at those people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's for three years or less, who are fit and active and who are highly motivated.
The first group of Warriors have completed their initial 10-week exercise plan and have achieved some good results...one of the initial group was former Blades manager Billy McEwan.
Billy, of course, was in charge of the Blades for 79 games between 1986 and 1988, and has had a long career in the game but was diagnosed with Parkinson's three years ago.
Physiotherapist Karen commented: "Billy has benefitted from the treatment and improved considerably and Blades fans will be delighted to know he is doing well."
It was Billy who has attempted to get United involved and the next classes will be held at Bramall Lane from 13th February on a Monday afternoon 2-3pm and on a Thursday evening from 6.30-7.30pm.