Parkinson’s Motor Symptoms

Although the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s tend to get the most attention and treatment, they often don’t appear until many of the brain’s nerve cells that produce dopamine have already stopped working. The four primary motor symptoms are tremor, stiffness (rigidity), slowness (bradykinesia), and postural instability. 

Through this collection of resources, we help you identify and learn about these common Parkinson’s motor symptoms. Even though you may not experience all of them, knowing about common motor symptoms will help you be proactive in managing the motor symptoms you do experience so you can live well.  

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Man backpacking with walking pole and dog

What Are the Motor Symptoms Of Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is officially classified as a movement disorder because it involves damage to the areas of the brain, nerves, and muscles that influence the speed, quality, fluency, and ease of movement. Motor (or movement-related) symptoms are usually the most visible elements of Parkinson’s. In this article, we outline the most common Parkinson’s motor symptoms, as well as the many actions you can take today to manage them. 

Parkinson’s Medication manangement for Motor Symptoms

In this webinar, Dr. Aaron Haug shares an in-depth look at treatment strategies and offers detailed explanations on the medications used to treat Parkinson’s motor symptoms 

A Primer On Balance and Parkinson’s

Postural instability—better known as poor balance and coordination—is a common Parkinson’s motor symptom. Parkinson’s can cause a loss of reflexes needed to maintain an upright posture, causing some people with Parkinson’s to feel unstable while standing upright. This instability, in turn, can increase their risk of falling. The good news is that although balance is one of the most vulnerable mechanisms we have, it is also one of the most re-trainable. With practice, you can improve your postural stability and even regain some of your automatic balance reflexes. In this primer, we show you how. 

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Rigidity and Parkinson’s: What It Is and How to Treat It 

Rigidity is one of the most common motor symptoms of people with Parkinson’s, and 90% of people with Parkinson’s experience it at some point during their Parkinson’s progression. Rigidity is when your muscles feel stiff and tighten involuntarily. It can occur in your arms, legs, neck, back, hands, feet, and even smaller facial muscles. This stiffness can decrease your range of motion and cause pain and achiness in your joints and muscles. Learn about rigidity and steps to manage it in this article. 

The Difference Between Dyskinesia and Tremor

Although distinguishing between Parkinson’s dyskinesia and parkinsonian tremor can be difficult, recognizing the differences can significantly impact both treatment and quality of life for a person with Parkinson’s. Here, we highlight some of the differences and similarities and share how treatments vary depending on the diagnosis. 

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