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Pole Walking For Parkinson’s

How It Is Different

Pole walking and Parkinson’s

Most devices that provide sensory cueing/feedback for FoG are research devices. Many of these methods are not portable and cannot be used outside the lab environment. Additionally, most devices use cues of a single type: visual, auditory or tactile. Some portable devices are already on the market such as Agilitas, Path Finder, Walk to Beat and Walk Aid. However, as far as we know, no device on the market exists that integrates all three forms of sensory cueing to overcome FoG. Our Parkinson Smart Cane integrates visual, tactile and auditory feedback into a self contained, portable device.

What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease

Each person with Parkinsons disease experiences symptoms in in their own unique way. Not everyone experiences all symptoms of Parkinsons disease. You may not experience symptoms in the same order as others. Some people may have mild symptoms others may have intense symptoms. How quickly symptoms worsen also varies from individual to individual and is difficult to impossible to predict at the outset.

In general, the disease progresses from early stage to mid-stage to mid-late-stage to advanced stage. This is what typically occurs during each of these stages:

Early stage

Early symptoms of Parkinsons disease are usually mild and typically occur slowly and do not interfere with daily activities. Sometimes early symptoms are not easy to detect or you may think early symptoms are simply normal signs of aging. You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing.

Often, a family member or friend notices some of the subtle signs before you do. They may notice things like body stiffness or lack of normal movement slow or small handwriting, lack of expression in your face, or difficulty getting out of a chair.

Mid stage

Mid-late stage

Standing and walking are becoming more difficult and may require assistance with a walker. You may need full time help to continue to live at home.

Advanced stage

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Five Stages Of Parkinsons

  • Unilateral involvement only, usually with minimal or no functional impairment.
  • Bilateral or midline involvement, without impairment of balance.
  • First signs of impaired righting reflexes.
  • Fully developed, severely disabling disease the patient is still able to walk and stand unassisted but is markedly incapacitated.
  • Confinement to bed or wheelchair unless aided.

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Benefits Of Nordic Walking For Parkinsons

Nordic walking amplifies the movement of ordinary walking in order to produce gains in speed. This high-intensity exercise has even more cardio or aerobic activity than hiking, but it can still be carried out on a variety of surfaces and terrains by anyone who can walk regardless of age or fitness level.

Multiple studies conducted around the world have shown that people with Parkinsons who participated in Nordic walking programs saw improvements in their gait, balance, posture, flexibility and mood.

Similar to hiking with trekking poles, Nordic walking requires two specially designed, hand-held walking poles that act as levers to give you a springy, lengthened stride. But unlike normal hiking sticks that you stab ahead of you as you walk, you push back on Nordic walking poles, rotating your shoulders and hips, and propelling your body forward.

Once you push your body past the pole, you must let go of the pole grip to get the pole further back behind the body and for the pole to become an extension of the arm. There are plenty of online tutorials you can watch that will paint a clearer picture.

Nordic walking takes some getting used to. But once you nail down the technique, it can improve fitness in the same way that running doesonly its easier on the ankles, knees and hips and therefore has a lower impact on the joints.

Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited


Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.

There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.

Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.

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How To Use It

The In-step LaserCane is very easy and safe to use. Its not different in any aspect from other normal cane when it comes to use it for walking. Simply put pressure on the cane, takes a step over the laser beam line, pick the cane up off the ground and moves it forward, and take the next step. Its that simple to use.

It is very light and you will feel like using a normal stick. Plus, you can easily adjust the height according to your comfort. This is just another reason this cane is so convenient and a must have if you have an abnormal gait pattern.

The cane is powered by two AA batteries, which are easily replaceable and last for half a year.

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Reduced Risk Of Falling

The goal of getting a walker for parkinsons walker is to reduce the risk of falling as well as improving the gait of the patient, right? Well, you want a stable walker that will offer support to the patient while at the same time reducing the risk of the patient falling.

Before getting any walker, you also want to consider whether the patient is demented or not. For a demented person, even the best walker might not serve the purpose. They would need you to supervise them and walk with them all the time.

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How Much Control Do I Have Over The Walker

The reverse breaking system of the U-Step II Walker helps in completely stopping the movement of the walker the moment your grip on the handle releases. The walker will not roll until you lightly squeeze either hand brake. Once you release the hand brake, the unit will stop immediately. This feature is particularly helpful when standing up from a chair because the unit will not roll away from you.

Unlike other rolling walkers, you can adjust the rolling speed of the U-Step II. Many people find wheeled walkers roll too fast for them. That is why there is an engineered control for setting the rolling resistance.

The patented spring-loaded front caster system glides easily over uneven surfaces, such as indoor molding strips and cracks in the sidewalk. This avoids sudden jolts as well as the need to lift the walker over small obstacles.

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What Is The Best Walker For Parkinsons Patients

Pole Walking Drills for Parkinson’s – Regular Stride

If you are looking for the best Walker for Parkinsons Patients, I recommend you to go for Drive Medical Folding Walker. The best thing about Drive Medical Folding Walker is that its extremely lightweight due to its aluminum frame. Also, it comes with a foldable design, which makes it easier to carry it while traveling.

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Nordic Pole Walking Provides All Four Types Of Exercises Endurance Strength Balance And Flexibility

Video Courtesy of Celf Creaive Agency

Stages of Walking The typical walk consists of a repeated gait cycle. The cycle itself contains two phases a stance phase and a swing phase: Stance phase: Accounts for 60% of the gait cycle. It can be divided into the heel strike, support, and toe-off phases. Swing phase: Accounts for 40% of the cycle. It can be divided into the leg lift and swing phases. We will now work through each individual stage in turn, discussing them in more detail.

Heel-Strike In the heel-strike stage, the foot hits the ground heel first. Three muscles/muscle sets are involved, each acting at a different joint: Gluteus maximus acts on the hip to decelerate the forward motion of the lower limb. Quadriceps femoris keeps the leg extended at the knee and the thigh flexed at the hip. Anterior compartment of the leg maintains the ankle dorsiflexion, positioning the heel for the strike.

Support After the heel strike stage, the rest of the leading foot hits the ground, and the muscles work to cope with the force passing through the leg. This is known as the support stage. Quadriceps femoris keeps the thigh extended, accepting the weight of the body. Foot inverters and everters contract in a balanced manner to stabilise the foot. Gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and tensor fascia lata abduct the lower limb. Their contraction keeps the pelvis level by counteracting the imbalance created from having most of the body-weight on one leg.

Hugo Adjustable Quad Cane

Lets start with Hugo Adjustable Quad Cane which is arguably one of the best Walking Aids for Parkinsons Patients. The cane comes with a very comfortable handle with an ergonomic design which makes it easier for a Parkinsons patient to hold comfortably while getting a good grip.

One of the main highlights of Hugo Quad Cane is that it comes with an adjustable design which makes it easier to adjust the height according to your comfort. Hugo Quad Cane is ideal for people with a height between 5 and 6.5, which means that it will work well for most people.

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Walking With Poles 101

If you currently use a cane or a walker to get around, I recommend that a physical therapist assess whether poles are a good choice for you and, if so, also assist in learning to use them properly. Using walking poles safely and correctly takes practice dont give up if it doesnt feel intuitive at first. The extra concentration and coordination needed may mean they are going to be especially beneficial once everything clicks and your brain learns this new skill.

Here are a few must knows before hitting the trails, road, sidewalk, or driveway:

  • Check for height adjustability: Most high quality poles have height markers so you can adjust the height of the pole to fit your body. Your poles should be adjusted to promote an upright posture without straining your back. If you are new to poling, you may want to start with a slightly shorter pole to make maneuvering easier.

  • Check the tips: Walking poles should be flat-tipped, not pointed like a ski pole, which is designed for use in ice or snow. You should inspect your tips regularly as wear is normal and tips should be replaced periodically to ensure a continued stable base.

  • Nordic Walking & Parkinsons


    Nordic Walking is a valuable exercise tool for people with Parkinsons due to:

    • The focus on the correct gait technique.
    • Large amplitude training from the intensification of normal walking.
    • The repetitive movements drive neuroplasticity. It has been quoted that it can take approximately 60,000 repetitions until a pathway is automatic. This is where Nordic Walking can really benefit an individual, an example is trying to increase arm swing in normal gait, using the Nordic walking poles forces the client to swing their arms more. A 1km walk will result in, approximately, 500 arm swings on one side. This is a great building block as not many people would stand and do 500 reps of a single arm exercise every day, however would quite happily go for a 1-2km walk. Regular exercise and repetition of movements will strengthen neurological pathways.
    • Exposure to outdoor environments to build confidence.
    • Cardiovascular and general fitness benefits.
    • Increased stability due to two poles on the ground.
    • The coordination challenge of the technique helps to build dual tasking abilities.
    • Can improve upper limb strength as well as lower limb strength.
    • Bone density benefits from performing a weight bearing exercise.
    • The social interaction of group activities.

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    Explore The Walking Pole Selection

    Healthcare Solutions carry a variety of walking poles that are specially designed to enhance your walking workout, increase stability, improve circulation, burn calories, and more.

  • Urban Poling. Health Benefits. Retrieved from:
  • Urban Poling. Introduction to Urban Poling. Retrieved from:
  • Why Is Nordic Walking An Effective And Enjoyable Exercise For People With Parkinsons

    Nordic Walking is a valuable exercise tool for people with Parkinsons because of:

    • The focus on the correct gait technique.
    • Large amplitude training from the intensification of normal walking.
    • The repetitive movements driving neuroplasticity.
    • Exposure to outdoor environments to build confidence.
    • Cardiovascular and general fitness benefits.
    • Increased stability from the use of two poles on the ground.
    • Challenging coordination to help build dual tasking abilities.
    • Improvement in upper limb strength as well as lower limb strength.
    • Weight bearing exercise improving bone density.
    • The social interaction of group activities and it is FUN.

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    But What Do Nordic Walkers Who Are Living With Parkinsons Have To Say

    Richard Clifft, INWA Nordic Walking Instructor and Champion for Parkinsons UK shares his experience:

    Why Nordic Walking?

    Before the why, and for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the term, what is Nordic Walking?

    Put very, very simply, its walking with the addition of two specially designed poles that enhance regular natural walking. Its a very accessible activity and can be shared by people of differing fitness, and has no age limits.

    So the question, why, and what are the benefits?

    Well, its a recognised fact that exercise does play an important role in slowing the effects of Parkinsons, and Nordic Walking has growing evidence of its suitability for both movement, stature, and boosting self-confidence.

    From one who knows, the benefits have been impressive. It has increased my awareness when walking to use the whole body and improves my posture, keeping me up straight, and gives me a better stride to my walking. For me, I found that within a short space of time I had developed a better awareness of my posture and walk even without the poles, a point noted by both family and friends.

    So yes, Im absolutely convinced its a fun form of beneficial exercise which will get you off the sofa and with self-confidence to come into the big outdoors!

    It Exercises Almost All Of Your Muscles

    Walking Poles and Parkinson Disease

    One of the most convenient benefits of Nordic walking is that it activates and exercises 90% of the bodys muscles. This makes pole walking a superior form of exercise to regular walking, which only utilizes about 40% of ones muscles.

    Keeping all of ones muscles strong is very important for Parkinsons patients as this will help to ease the severity of some of the symptoms associated with Parkinsons disease that make movements difficult.

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    Foods With Necessary Nutrients

    Parkinsons disease patients should concentrate on eating from all food groups, a diet that provides essential fiber, minerals, and vitamins to the body altogether.

    • Overlook fad diets
    • Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day
    • Eat fiber-rich foods, consume whole grain bread, vegetables, brown rice, fruits to avoid constipation.
    • For cramps, consider drinking tonic water which has quinine
    • Yellow mustard with spice turmeric also helps with cramps and encourage bowel movements

    Check out this video:

    Nordic Walking To Fight Parkinson’s Disease

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    Nordic Walking to fight Parkinson’s Disease Alexandre Peyré-Tartaruga, Leonardo, Angela Peña Ghisleni, Karen Przybysz da Silva Rosa, Flávia Martinez, Elren Passos Monteiro, Marcelo Coertjens, Aline Pagnussat, and Carlos Rieder.. Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 27 Oct 2016. Experiment

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    Nordic Walking To Fight Parkinsons Disease

    Nordic Walking is proving to be a great gift for individuals suffering from Parkinson disease. The seemingly simple looking activity of walking with Nordic poles is bringing a lot of hope and cheer to people who had compromised with a life of pain and inactivity.

    Visually Nordic Walking benefits may seem to be hard to pin down but it is not so in reality. The very act of walking with the active participation of the upper body, confers the kind of benefits on the body, which can matched by only very few exercises.

    The combination of Nordic Walking Poles with regular walking produces an effect akin to the movement of a four wheel vehicle. While regular walking entails the use of the legs but keeps the upper body largely under exercised, Nordic walking ensures the active use of all the four limbs of the body. The active use of the whole body results in many health benefits like

  • Improved balance for the body
  • Increased heart rate
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    How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed

    Buy Parkinson

    Diagnosing Parkinsons disease is sometimes difficult, since early symptoms can mimic other disorders and there are no specific blood or other laboratory tests to diagnose the disease. Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, may be used to rule out other disorders that cause similar symptoms.

    To diagnose Parkinsons disease, you will be asked about your medical history and family history of neurologic disorders as well as your current symptoms, medications and possible exposure to toxins. Your doctor will look for signs of tremor and muscle rigidity, watch you walk, check your posture and coordination and look for slowness of movement.

    If you think you may have Parkinsons disease, you should probably see a neurologist, preferably a movement disorders-trained neurologist. The treatment decisions made early in the illness can affect the long-term success of the treatment.

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