Parkinson’s disease primarily affects movements, with the three main symptoms being tremor, stiffness and slowness.
Resting tremor is the most common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, affecting almost 70% of PD patients. Hand tremor usually begins in one hand. Typically, the tremor occurs when that specific part of the body is resting, and lessens or even disappears when the affected part is being used.
Muscular stiffness and rigidity in PD
In PD patients stiffness and other extra pyramidal symptoms can affect many of the daily activities that we normally take for granted. For example, people with PD might find it difficult to turn around, get out of a chair or turn over in bed. It can also be difficult for PD patients to perform tasks that require fine finger movements, such as writing, unlocking a door with a key or sorting through loose change when shopping.
Slowness of movement in PD
Difficulty in movement is often described one of the most disabling Parkinson’s symptoms. This motor symptom encompasses both a slowness to initiate a voluntary movement as well as a reduction in the speed and extent of the actual movement. ‘Freezing’ means a momentary inability to move one’s feet when walking; people with Parkinson’s disease may sometimes feel as though their feet are glued to the floor. Techniques such as stepping over an object and attempting to march rather than walk may be helpful in these situations. Freezing may also be alleviated by following a visual cue or a rhythmic sound.
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