Friday, April 19, 2024
Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeLivingHow To Help Parkinson's Patients Walk

How To Help Parkinson’s Patients Walk

Walking: Possible Preventative Treatment

This laser helps Parkinson’s patients walk again

While the study prescribes walking as an effective, but supplemental treatment to what a patients doctor prescribes, I would also recommend this form of exercise as a possible preventative treatment. Sure, walking hasnt been proven to prevent Parkinsonsjust slow its progressionbut it doesnt hurt to make it part of your daily routine, especially when it is known to help prevent so many other diseases. So why not start today with a couple laps around the neighborhood or a walk to the corner store for milk instead of driving. Taking these little steps could prove to be a big step in keeping your good health.

Brisk Walking May Help Curb Parkinsons Symptoms, MedlinePlus web site, July 2, 2014 Doyle, K., Walking may ease Parkinsons symptoms study suggests, Reuters, July 2, 2014 Fox, M., Walking works more magic This time in Parkinsons, Today Health web site, July 2, 2014

Naturalremedy For Parkinsons #7 Omega

Animal based omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful weapon inthe fight against Parkinsons disease. One of the main fatty acids, DHA, is oneof the essential building blocks for the human brain. Half of your brain andeyes are made up of fat and a large proportion of this is DHA fat.

Omega-3 fatty acids have the unique ability to cross theblood-brain barrier, something most conventional drugs cannot do. They helpincrease dopamine levels and reduce neuroinflammation in the brain, while atthe same time, stimulating neuron growth. So basically, EPA and DHA help preventbrain cell damage and keep the nervous system in tip top working order! 4

Best sources of animal based omega-3s are either fishoil, cod liver oil or krill oil. High strength krill oil is the preferred option as thiscontains a substance called Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a potent brain food nutrientthat has been shown to prevent neurodegeneration and inflammation of the brain.For dosages, take AT LEAST the highest recommended amount listed on the bottle the same goes with fish oil or cod liver oil. You cant overdose on thesesupplements so theres nothing to be concerned about. In fact, the more omega-3syou can get into you the better the results!

In addition to this, try and eat some cold water fattyfish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines or herring 3-4 times a week foran extra supply of DHA and EPA.

Rhythmical Or Auditory Cues

  • A steady beat from a metronome or suitable music can help. The rhythm should be a comfortable pace, the beat prompting you to lift your feet and step.
  • Develop a trigger word such as go, step or march to re-start your walking.
  • Try closing your eyes to take the first step, making sure it is safe to do so, then open your eyes to continue walking.
  • Hum a tune or download music with a good beat onto an MP3 player to keep your walking pattern going. Remember though that you should not use your MP3 in busy places where you should listen for traffic.
  • The cue timing can be varied according to where you are, for example you will probably walk faster when outside, and slower in your home. See our video – Coping Strategies: overcoming freezing by counting 1 and our video – Overcoming freezing by counting 2.
  • A physiotherapist or occupational therapist may be able to advise on mini metronomes or similar devices that can be clipped onto clothing so can be taken with you anywhere.

Attentional strategies use your imagination

The weight shift method

Start hesitation


  • Touching a particular part of the body can also sometimes be helpful as a cue to unblock freezing see our video: Coping Strategies: using touch as a cue.

Read Also: Can You Die From Parkinson\’s Disease

To Prevent Falls Exercise

Exercise is the only intervention that significantly reduces a persons risk of falling, among older people without PD as well as people with Parkinsons. Research is beginning to show how exercise changes the brain for the better and can help people with PD gain back some of their automatic balance reflex.

In a study, Dr. Horak and her team asked participants with PD to stand on a quickly moving treadmill, until they began walking. Participants initially took too-small steps, but with one hour of practicing, they improved, taking bigger steps to stay balanced while walking.

Many kinds of exercise can improve a persons balance. Consider trying:

  • Tai Chi: a moving meditation where movements involve shifting the bodys center of mass back and forth over the feet. Studies found fewer falls among people with PD who practiced Tai Chi three times a week.
  • Dance: to dance tango, a person has to walk backward and sideways, take big steps and both follow and lead good ways for people with PD to practice balance control.
  • Boxing: the rapid arm movements provide good balance training.
  • Agility boot camp: completing different tasks in a series of stations can improve balance.

Tip: People with PD may have other medical issues that affect their ability to exercise, such as arthritis or neuropathy. Work with a physical therapist to find an exercise that suits your needs.

Path Finder Laser Shoes


These lightweight shoes were first launched in 2017 and since then they have helped many Parkinsons patients to walk freely without encounter gait problems. These were designed by Lise Pape, who was a graduate student at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College of London, and now the CEO and founder of Walk With Path.

The main unit of Path Finder shoes is the laser device which is attached to the rubber strap that can easily fit a shoe. When switching on, the laser unit initiates a bright green line which can be calibrated by rotating the laser unit. The laser line attracts the attention of the patient and allows the patients focus on moving forward.

Also Check: Parkinson’s Average Life Expectancy

What Is Nordic Walking

Nordic walking is a style of walking where you use a specially designed walking pole to help you move forwards. This means that you use your arms as well as your legs and, as the poles propel you, they help you to walk faster and more steadily than you may do normally. When properly used, the poles take the weight off the knees and lower body joints, which can make you feel lighter on your feet.

Help Them Feel Normal

A disease like Parkinsons can interfere with the normalcy of someones life. Because people may focus so much on the disease and its symptoms, your loved one may start to lose their sense of self. When you talk to your loved one, dont constantly remind them that they have a chronic disease. Talk about other things like their favorite new movie or book.

Don’t Miss: Is Parkinson’s Disease Fatal

Honda To Help People With Parkinsons Disease To Walk

Honda R& D Americas, Inc. announced today that they and The Ohio State University have been awarded a grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation to research the safety and potential positive impact that Hondas Walking Assist Device could have in helping people with Parkinsons disease .

The research partners will conduct a Phase II randomized controlled trial to study the impact of an eight week intervention using the Walking Assist Device to improve mobility in people with PD.

We have a large body of evidence which suggests that the Honda Walking Assist Device safely and effectively improves the mobility of individuals affected by stroke, said Kenton Williams, one of the lead research engineers at Honda R& D Americas for the Walking Assist Device development. We are excited to understand how the device also can help support individuals with other neurological conditions such as PD.

Jamie Hamilton, PhD, Associate Director at MJFF, says, Many people with Parkinsons disease experience gait and balance issues, but there are few treatment options that fully alleviate these challenges. This project has the potential to address this unmet need and improve quality-of-life for Parkinsons patients.

Natural Remedies And Treatments For Parkinsons Disease That Get Powerful Results

Laser Technology Helps Parkinson’s Patients Walk

To successfully treat the symptoms of Parkinsons, andeven reverse this disorder, there are 4 things you must do

a) Increase your natural dopamine levels

b) Detox your body of all heavy metals andpollutants

c) Reduce all inflammation in the body,especially the brain

d) Repair the neuro pathways

These 10 natural treatments and remedies do all four. Solets not waste any more time then. Here they are in order of importance

Also Check: Parkinson Disease Lifespan

Physical Therapy Can Help

In addition to medication, physical therapy can help with walking. There are several strategies that can be used to overcome freezing episodes.

Strategies include taking a high marching step, counting to three before stepping, or walking along to the rhythm of a metronome. Using visual cues such or stepping over a target such as a laser beam or line on the floor can also help with gait.

Assistive devices such as walkers or canes can be helpful in reducing the risk of falling.

Engage with the community by asking a question, telling your story, or participating in a forum.

Levers Instead Of Knobs

Once again, grasping a knob is something most people dont need to think twice about. But if your hands are constantly shaking due to Parkinsons disease, getting a firm grip on a knob to turn on your baths tap can be difficult and frustrating. And, if you turn it on too hot, you might have a hard time adjusting the temperature quickly, possibly causing you to be scalded by hot water!

Walk-in tubs usually use lever-like handles instead of knobs for turning the water on and off. This is much easier to use for people who have limited strength and mobility in their handsnot only Parkinsons patients, but even individuals who struggle with arthritic joints. Plus, these tubs will often have anti-scald technology, so you have one less thing you need to worry about.

Don’t Miss: Parkinsons Life Expectancy

The 3 Best Walking Aids For Parkinsons Patients

One of the biggest problems with Parkinsons patients is that they freeze while walking. This problem is more common in those who are at their advanced stage of Parkinsons disease. Freezing of gait restrains the patients from moving and can increase their risk for falls and injury.

Here, we present the 3 best walking aids for Parkinsons patients. These aids are designed in a way that helps patients to regain control over walking. All of these come with a unique visual cue system in the form of a laser line that is projected in front of patients while they walk. This feature breaks freezing episodes, improves the walking speed and stride length of patients.

What Is Freezing Of Gait

Parkinsons Patients Learning Power of Exercise

Freezing of gait is an abnormal gait pattern that can accompany Parkinsons disease as well as other parkinsonian disorders in which there are sudden, short and temporary episodes of an inability to move the feet forward despite the intention to walk. In a sense, youre stuck. This results in the characteristic appearance of the feet making quick stepping movements in place. However, while the feet remain in place, the torso still has forward momentum which makes falls unfortunately common in the context of freezing of gait. For some, these episodes can simply be frustrating, annoying and perhaps embarrassing for others freezing of gait can become incredibly disabling and lead to injury.

Freezing of gait episodes tend to occur least often when walking on an unobstructed, straight path. Any deviation from that can induce freezing for example, when you first try to start walking, when you go to make a turn, or try to navigate around obstacles or through narrow spaces any of these can cause you to get stuck.

The particular triggers for one person may be different than for another. An episode is typically very brief, often lasting only 1-2 seconds, although they can last longer. Freezing of gait can be affected by anxiety, so if a person feels rushed , freezing may be particularly prominent.

Recommended Reading: Pigd Parkinson\’s Life Expectancy

Treating Freezing Of Gait For People With Parkinsons

Freezing of gait episodes often occur when a person is under-medicated and can improve with increased amounts of their PD meds, usually carbidopa/levodopa. However, as mentioned earlier, the brain abnormalities that lead to freezing of gait are very complex, so giving more dopaminergic medication is only part of the solution. In fact, some people have what is referred to as ON freezing. This means that freezing of gait episodes occur even when other PD symptoms are well treated with their medication regimen.

Cueing, or the introduction of an external sensory stimulus to facilitate movement, has been identified as a way to break a freezing episode. Terry Ellis, PhD, PT, NCS, Director of the APDA National Rehabilitation Resource Center at Boston University, and Tami DeAngelis, PT, GCS, compiled this list of cues that can be used to get out of a freezing episode:

What Causes Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons comes under the dementia umbrella. Its adegenerative disease of the nervous system that causes a loss of motor skillsand intentional movement. When someone has Parkinsons, the part of the brainthat controls muscular movements and mood function doesnt receive enough ofthe crucial dopamine chemical. Without enough dopamine, bodily movements,learning abilities and mood levels are severely affected. So-called normalfunctions such as speaking, writing, swallowing, walking and sleeping become difficultto perform. These challenges, combined with a lowering of mood levels is whymany Parkinsons patients suffer with depression.

Don’t Miss: Is Parkinson’s Disease Fatal

What Kind Of Exercise Can I Do If I Have Trouble Standing Or Walking

Even with advanced Parkinsons symptoms, you can still reap the benefits of some activities. If you have trouble walking or balancing, hold a bar or rail to exercise and stretch. If standing or getting up is tough, exercise and stretch in a chair or bed. Physical exercise performed in a seated position, such as biking on a recumbent bike can allow you to exert yourself in a safe manner.

Facial exercises may help combat difficulties speaking or swallowing:

  • Chew your food longer and more vigorously.
  • Exaggerate your face and lip movements when you speak.
  • Make faces in the mirror.
  • Sing or read out loud.

Mental exercises give your brain a workout and can improve memory. For example:

  • Name as many animals as you can in 1 minute.
  • Play brain games and do puzzles.
  • Solve math problems in your head.

You can also add activity in small bits throughout your day:

  • Park further away from stores so you walk longer distances.
  • Stretch or do leg exercises while watching TV.
  • Swing your arms more when you walk, and take long strides.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Future Of Freezing Of Gait Treatments

New Laser Device Helps Parkinson’s Patients Walk

Various research approaches may transform how freezing of gait is treated in the future. Cognitive training strategies are being studied to determine if they improve freezing of gait. Another approach is the development of wearable technology systems that can detect an imminent freeze and then automatically deploy a sensory cue. Novel deep brain stimulation targets are also being developed as a method of controlling freezing of gait.

APDA invests in research that may lead to new treatments for the gait disorders of PD. Here are some examples:

Christopher Bishop, PhD, at Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY, is studying an area of the brainstem known as the pedunculopontine nucleus, which plays a key role in movement and wakefulness. It has been an experimental DBS target for relief of freezing of gait and PD-related gait disorders with mixed results. Dr. Bishop is probing the specific functions of this key brain area to determine how they impact PD symptoms.

Aasef Shaikh, MD, PhD, at Cleveland VA Medical Center, University Hospitals Cleveland, and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, is studying the complex interactions of various neurologic systems, their effects on gait and balance in PD, and how they can be modified by DBS. The systems that Dr. Shaikh studies include vision, eye movements, the inner ear/vestibular system, and proprioception.

Tips and takeaways

Do you have a question or issue that you would like Dr. Gilbert to explore? Suggest a Topic

Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s Disease Survival Rate

Hydrogel Eases Stem Cell Delivery As Potential Parkinsons Therapy

However, standard DBS can also cause problems with dynamic postural stability that can, for instance, make it difficult to maintain balance when walking.

Postural instability, a symptom strongly associated with falling in those with PD , declines following STN-DBS and subsequently has been considered a contributing factor to the increased falls rate reported for those who are more than one year post-surgery, the researchers wrote.

Recent research has indicated that low-frequency DBS may be able to alleviate the risks of postural instability that the standard treatment provides. However, most research into its use has relied on relatively subjective measures of dynamic postural stability.

A team of researchers in Australia conducted a small clinical trial to test the effects of low-frequency DBS relative to high-frequency DBS on postural instability more objectively through specialized sensors worn on the head and back of participants while walking.

These sensors measured the patients movements in detail, and data collected was then analyzed to assess aspects of participants walking ability, like how rhythmic their movements were . More rhythmic movements are generally associated with better balance.

In all, the researchers reported findings for 14 people given a standard high-frequency DBS and a low-frequency DBS , with walking assessments after each treatment. Of note, when participants were assessed, they were required to be off their Parkinsons medications.

Naturalremedy For Parkinsons #10 Foods You Must Avoid

There are certain foods that are known to worsen thesymptoms of Parkinsons and certain foods that are known to help. Healthadvocate, Dr Joseph Mercola, says that Parkinsons disease is primarily relatedto poor lifestyle choices, particularly poor dietary habits. Increasing yourbodys natural dopamine levels is also extremely important in your fight againstPD.

The foods and liquids you should be eating and drinkingmore of to help you along include:

· Clean Filtered Water Clean filtered water helpsto flush toxins from the body and hydrate the cells .Try and aim to drink at least two liters of water every day, and under nocircumstances drink tap water! Tap water is laced with toxic fluoride and otherchemicals and heavy metals so NEVER drink it. Buy yourself a good quality waterfilter. Its worth the investment.

· Whole Foods and Raw Foods Eat plenty oforganic mixed berries, green leafy vegetables, liver , fish,eggs, nuts and seeds such as chia and flaxseeds, along with plenty of herbs andspices. When it comes to buying any of these remember fresh is alwaysbest.

· Consume Lots of Probiotics Good gutbacteria are needed for strong immunity and healthy digestive function, whichin turn produces healthy brain and nerve function. You can learn how to makeyour own probiotic rich foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and yogurt hereCultures for Health.

The foods you should be avoiding or not eating at allinclude:

Don’t Miss: Parkinsons Fatal


Popular Articles