Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms: How to Manage ‘Freezing’

Freezing is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, but can affect people in many different ways. Often a person freezes while walking, usually when changing direction or walking up a step, feeling as though their foot has become glued to the ground. But freezing can affect other movements, too. Male patients reported freezing in the middle of a continuous action such as brushing their teeth or combing their hair, according to Parkinson’s Victoria.

MORE: Parkinson’s disease symptoms: what is freezing?

Freezing can also happen with speech and many people living with the condition say they often freeze midsentence. Most of the time, freezing is a temporary action, which although frustrating, is quickly overcome. There are some things you can do help prevent it and get past it quickly when it occurs.

If you have regular freezing episodes, you may want to speak to your physical therapist or occupational therapist to come up with some strategies to manage it. In the meantime, to help prevent freezing incidents, make sure you take your meds on time and at the correct dosage, walk to a rhythm (listening to music or a beat may help), take long strides when you walk and focus on walking with no distractions.

When a freezing incident does occur, here are a few tips that may help you get past it quickly: prompt yourself while walking by counting or saying left, right, left, right; standing still and swinging your arms; alternating standing on each leg to shift your weight; and visualizing an imaginary line that you have to step over.

MORE: Twelve types of exercise suitable for Parkinson’s disease patients.

Parkinsons’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

One comment

  1. Tony Sandy says:

    As Parkinson’s people have been prompted to move, when crossing floors with chequered tiles, has this been suggested for use in people’s homes as therapy? Failing that have stick on soles as instructors use to indicate dance movements, been tried? Maybe it would create the same impetus to move as with the coloured squares above?

    Lastly has music been tried as rhythmic sound might also stimulate motion, giving a pattern to the stuck mind to follow (even a metronome might help in this situation)?

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