Five Ways to Help Muscle Stiffness in Parkinson’s Disease
If your muscles often feel stiff and uncomfortable, you're not alone. "Rigidity, or stiffness, is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson's," says Rachel Dolhun, MD, a movement disorders specialist at The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Stiffness can be uncomfortable and painful to deal with when trying to perform everyday activities, from getting up and cleaning to relaxing and sleeping. The discomfort and frustration from the inability to complete these tasks can contribute to other symptoms, such as fatigue and insomnia.
Our community shared the remedies that have helped them relieve rigidity.
1. Move more during the day. Increasing everyday movement can help improve motor symptoms, which in turn helps prevent stiff muscles. If you need any motivation or ideas, try these tips from our community on how to get more motion in your day.
2. Exercise. Having an exercise regimen is beneficial in not only muscle movement, but also in overall health. Though any kind of exercise such yoga, tai chi, running or dancing can be beneficial for people with Parkinson's, studies suggest that high-intensity interval training may hold particular benefits for relieving muscle stiffness.
3. Try heat or a hot bath to relax muscles. Unwind while helping ease stiffness.
4. Try weight lifting. It's not necessary to use heavy weights, but incorporating weight resistance into your exercise routine and slowly increasing the weight amount can strengthen your muscles and ease movement.
5. Consider yoga. Studies suggest that yoga has particular benefits for people with Parkinson's disease, including for increasing flexibility and easing rigidity. Yoga may help improve range of motion in the shoulders, hips and spine.
Bonus Tip: Talk to your doctor. If muscle stiffness is very painful and is affecting your everyday life, consult with your doctor. You may want to talk about changes in medication and different therapies that may help manage your rigidity.
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