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.

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  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)?

  2. Hi, my name is Joan, My husband has Parkinson’s, he went to the neurologist ask for Zoloft because his psychiatrist no accept anymore our insurance, his called and told me about his disease……I started to cry and stopped few days later! Until today almost one year later we don’t know how to take care about. He continued with his life like anything happened! Was a big surprise to me! He takes the medication 3 times per day, sometimes his stops to takes for few weeks or months, then I start to talk and talk and talk and finally he get back to the meds. But I don’t have idea what stage he is, he’s shaking, forgetting a lot, making mistakes frequent, losing his balance but in his mind everything is going normal.

  3. Bill says:

    My father has Parkinson’s. My brother took over there finances without telling rest of us I’m pos to he courses them the Drs and specialists and has tried to put them in nursing home he has just stolen $6000 in last week.convinvced them I was stealing dad has also gave him 2 lots of about my parents want him of the the pos and is fine but after my brother is there dad is angry telling me to get out mum cries they can’t get him of that role at solicitors unroll they have test done by there Dr so they can sign if they go back to same Dr he will say the same as my brother has cohorts him what is this test called.and how can my brother be sister before that stole millions in cash.please can someone help before I do something permanent to parents want to stay in there place .but he wants them in nursing home so he can move in.can my parents sell there house without this test.pleasr help before he magically dispears.seriosly

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