Parkinson's disease and Medical Devices - Cure Parkinson's

Cure Parkinson's

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Parkinson's disease and Medical Devices

st2022 profile image

Hi! I'm a biomedical engineering student at Georgia Tech researching Parkinson's disease and I would love to hear your experiences with medical devices on the market. What are your thoughts on textured insoles for balance or for gait? What factors are important for you in a device to help with your symptoms or fall prevention? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Hope you all are having a blessed week

17 Replies

Wow! Great questions.

So many devices just don’t work well for my husband. For instance, there’s only one walker really designed for Parkinson’s…the UStep, and he can’t figure out how to use the brakes, which require you to release rather than squeeze. So with PD you need something that keeps you from falling forward….but most walkers just roll and never offer much resistance. So anyway, that means people have to follow him around everywhere to make sure he doesn’t fall.

Another area that has no great solution is lift chairs. The recliner style ones are great, but there’s no solution for the dining table or the office. So he always needs help to get up in these situations.

Haven’t tried insoles yet, but he might benefit from that.

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to LeharLover62

Thank you for sharing your husband's experience with the U-Step. That must be very difficult for you both. I found this article that discusses some other walkers and lists their pros and cons. If you're interested, here's the link:

(Also a bit of a side note: I know that the U-Step has a laser to help with freezing. I believe NexStride creates lasers that can be added on to any cane/walker.)

As for the lift chairs: that's so frustrating, definitely an area in need of improvement! Have you guys tried a powered seat assist or maybe a portable chair assist?

There's some great research out there backing up textured insoles and their effects on balance and fall prevention. Definitely some interesting stuff!

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me. If you're interested, I'd be more than happy to share anything I find through my research in regards to walkers or lift chairs!

For me i use an plate vibration machine every morning to loosen stiff muscle's i wouldn't be without it very beneficial :)

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to JustJeff

Interesting, I'd love to hear more about that! If you don't mind me asking, how long do you find you need to use it for in the mornings before your muscles loosen up some? Also, how did you manage the stiff muscles before you started using the plate vibration machine? Is there anything else you relied on?

JustJeff profile image
JustJeff in reply to st2022

I had the vibration machine pre diagnoses of PD....i stand on it first thing in the morning for no more than 4 minutes using the variable speed to loosen muscles i then go onto rowing machine and weight training but nothing to intense i also then use a mini trampette approx 100 bounces helps with balance :)

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to JustJeff

Awesome! I read a bit about how helpful exercise can be for PD, but I had no idea rebounding could help with balance. Thank you so much for sharing your routine with me!

Barefooting works best for me.

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to Thal

Thank you for your response! Is there anything about insoles or even footwear in general that you find uncomfortable?

Thal profile image
Thal in reply to st2022

No, just find the sensation of barefooting comfortable and my toes don t scrunch.

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to Thal

Ah, I see! Thank you so much for sharing that.

kaypeeoh profile image
kaypeeoh in reply to Thal

When I needed surgery they told me to strip to shorts and put on these socks with rubber glued to the soles. The made me quite stable even while the drugs were still wearing off. They said to throw then out but I still wear them for padding around the house.

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to kaypeeoh

Oh wow, socks?! It's interesting how something so simple as rubber on the bottom helps with something as complex as stability. Do you ever wear them with shoes, or does that feel uncomfortable for you?

I did a few google searches on this and, apparently, there's also a sock by VoxxLife with a specific pattern that "triggers a neural response" and helps with stability? I don't know how well it works but I found this all to be so fascinating! Thank you for adding in that picture!

I have unbearable “ toe curling” it’s a spasm. YogaSandals have saved me. Also yogatoes and correcttoes

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to Manypony

Oh my, I'm glad you found some toe separators and footwear that works for you!

The YogaSandals look really comfortable! I read that they optimize your toes to work as good as they would barefoot. Do you find them to be more comfortable or equally as comfortable as being barefoot? Do you opt for the YogaToes/CorrectToes or the sandals around the house?

Manypony profile image
Manypony in reply to st2022

I literally use all 3. The yogasandals I wear all day. I have both styles. I think I prefer the wide strap. Yogatoes are the most extreme. Correcttoes can be worn in some shoes if the toe box is big enough. I sleep with them on. I also have some yogasocks/ toe separators

st2022 profile image
st2022 in reply to Manypony

Interesting! Thank you so much for sharing that!

I noticed a ring vibrator with an adjustable frequency reduces the tremor. Unfortunately there is not a solid device on the market except some crappy expansive unreliably made in a country whose name I'm not allowed to say to avoid being accused I'm a racist. .

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