Do you have problems getting up out of a chair?

Many people I know, some with Pd and others not, have terrible problems getting into or out of a chair. I have shown every one of them how easy it is, if done properly. The main problem is, not having the weight of the body over the feet, when getting up and sitting down.

What do I mean by this? If we sit in a chair that does not have any space between the underneath of the seat and the floor, like most armchairs, then our feet are out in front of us and when we get up, we have to push with our arms to get us into a position where our legs can get us upright. It sounds so simple, and it is!

If we sit on a kitchen chair, which normally has space between the underneath of the seat and the floor below, then we can push our feet back underneath the chair and lean our torso forwards until our heads are over our toes. Then, an only then, should we try to get upright.

If you still battle to stand up, it is nothing to do with Pd, it is simply a lack of muscle tone, which can be rectified by exercise. You should not need to push yourself up with your arms!

What exercise do I mean? Practice standing behind a kitchen chair and holding on to the chair with your hands. Then practice bending you knees as low as you are able and holding that position for a couple of seconds before rising back up again. Do that up to ten times, at least twice a day. You will soon find that you are able to go lower and lower down, until you are doing a complete squat. Imagine that! Won't you be proud of yourself?

The maxim here is, WHAT YOU DON'T USE, YOU LOSE! Age has nothing to do with it. Any person at any age can exercise and get stronger, unless that person has some other physical problem.

Good luck everyone!


23 Replies

  • I had earlier great problem with this.

    My advice is: stretch your arms forward and to both sides with all your strength. (called big moves) - until you are standing on the floor. Try it!

    I have had massage by a naprapat . It was usefull for me.

  • Try to remember "nose over toes". I do 50 squats every morning moving to a standing position from sitting on a low stool and back down again. In physio I also do squats with a therapy ball against the wall. That is a lot harder and I wouldn't try it without someone beside me. But it is all worth it. I'm not going to give in to the belief that people with PD can't rise from a chair.

  • Thanks Joanne. Have you found that you do not have a major problem with balance? I have a theory that balance problems can be overcome (not cured) by making our leg muscles stronger. I would appreciate hearing from you again on this subject.


  • That does make sense doesn't it? I don't have a major problem with balance either and I have never fallen. Have you asked your physio about it? I'll see what mine has to say and let you know.

  • Hi Joanne. My physio is in full agreement with this view. Even a young person with no neurological or balance problems, can find it difficult to walk properly, after being bed-ridden for some time and having consequentially weak leg muscles. We forget that if we don't walk regularly, and I don't mean slouching around the house or in the garden, I mean walking with purpose, our muscles start to atrophy. Help your muscles to help you!


  • Your point is well taken and I agree that exercise is critically important to PD patients. I do little spurts throughout the day that include sit ups, push ups, treadmill, incline table, punching a swift bag, stretching with a wooden dowel, resistance bands, small weights, yoga, yoga ball, and stretching by hanging from a chin up bar. Equipment is spread throughout my house to entice me to do some little exercise almost every time I enter a different room. 5-20 minutes worth of exercises several times a day can make a huge difference. I've recently added leg squats. I'm 65 now and I was diagnosed 13 years ago.

    However, for people struggling to get out of a chair because their muscles aren't strong enough yet, you can push your body forward to the very edge of the chair, keeping your feet back as far as possible and knees forward, lean your head forward towards your knees, extend your arms downward and forward, and sweeping up above your head as you stand. I used this method to stand before I started using coconut oil. Now, I am much stronger, have far more energy, many of my symptoms have reversed, and I no longer have any difficulty standing. Exercise and more importantly, coconut oil has changed my life.

    With PD, we need to have an arsenal of weapons to fight back and better our lives. Whatever Helps!

  • Hi cocokay. You reimforce my theory that exercise overcomes balance prolems. I hope more people can add to this. I am not so sure about the CO. I have not tried it, because I have no need to do so. There is so much out there about the danger of too much oils.


  • Hi John, I can only tell you about my personal experience. I've shared it before, but in the interest of new readers here is my story and updated with my sisters' results. I apologize for its length, but when you're suffering from PD, you need hope. I didn't want to omit anything.

    Previous submission:

    I’m a 65 year old female, diagnosed with PD in January 2001. I had seen some Youtube videos about coconut oil (CO) and Alzheimer’s and wondered about benefits to PD patients. I began to read up on other health benefits of CO and wanted to add it to my diet but couldn’t find an appealing way to get tablespoons of CO down without gagging. I started introducing small amounts into my food with absolutely no effect. I finally learned by liquefying CO first and dribbling it into a blender with a breakfast shake, I could add at least two or three tablespoons without being able to detect it.

    The first day I put two tablespoons in my breakfast shake was a really great day. It was unusual that I didn’t need a nap and I remember just feeling better, but writing it off as a coincident. I wish I would have noted the date, but I didn’t suspect the significance. It’s been about three weeks and every day I feel better. The crippling PD fatigue is very substantially changed for the better. Previously, fatigue worsened my posture, voice, and energy. Friends and family have already begun to comment on what they describe as startling changes in my appearance, volume in my voice, and overall look of improved health.

    I was hoping that CO might slow the progression of PD, but I wasn’t expecting short term noticeable improvement. To realize an immediate benefit that feels very substantial, is exhilarating. I don’t know whether CO enhances the absorption other supplements like the Q10 or whether my particular physical deficiencies are receptive to unique properties within CO, but I know the difference in the way I feel. For the last few years when asked how I feel, I always gave the same enthusiastic response, “I’m hanging in there!” Now, my response is, “I’m feeling GREAT!” After being diagnosed so long ago, I would have never dreamed such a simple and yummy remedy could impact my life so much.


    It's been 4 months now and I haven't had a nap since the day before I started CO. I'm too busy doing stuff I couldn't do before. Brushing my teeth without an electric toothbrush, buttoning my pants without a button hook, standing on one leg to put on my pants, walking fast, gardening... so many things I'm starting to forget and take for granted. I still have some symptoms but they are much improved! I no longer consider myself disabled, just inconvenienced.

    In addition, I begged my niece to put my older sister, who has Alzheimer’s, on CO. She also had dramatic improvement. Within the first four days she was interacting with her family again, even going to lunch and a movie. After 12 years of not being able to have any meaningful phone conversations with her, we now converse regularly and she sounds the way she did 15 years ago. My niece was so excited about the change in her mother, she put her whole family on CO. I believe my sister only takes 1 Tablespoon per day.

    What’s more, my younger sister has Diabetes, heart disease, and fibromyalgia. Since she has been on 4 Tablespoons of CO per day, she has cut her insulin in half, her heart blood tests are pretty much normalized, she has increased energy, and she has lost over 50lbs.

    On last Thanksgiving, my 38 year old son had a heart attack due to a blood clot in his heart. He is a hard core hiker, mountain climber, marathon runner, and triathlon athlete. A couple of weeks ago, after some disappointing run times, he spread some CO on an English muffin and had his best run time ever on that day. On its own that's not enough to prove anything, but coupled with my own experience and my sisters' makes me a hard core believer in CO.

    I’m not an expert, but as best I understand it, CO is NOT just any oil. It is a medium chain fatty acid which causes the liver to produce Ketones. Those ketones can pass the brain barrier and creates an alternative nourishment for the brain. If the brain can’t absorb glucose because of glucose insensitivity, a malnourished brain can suddenly find nutrition in keytones. Regardless, my life has changed so drastically since I started CO last November that I would never be talked out of taking it every morning.

    I urge anybody curious about whether CO might help with PD symptoms to give it a try. Start out with a low dose and gradually increase until you feel increased energy. Though I've never experienced any problems. the only side effects I've ever heard of is diarrhea. On the upside, it makes your skin and hair look great. FYI, I gained two pounds and now weigh 110 lbs.

  • Thanks cocokay. This is a really encouraging story. We don't have any supplies of inexpensive coconut oil here in SA but I will look into it more seriously.


  • Cocokay, that is an amazing account of the benefits of CO. I hope you are taking part in Wes's study so that can be documented and, hopefully, prompt further research.

  • I was going to wait until I saw my new neurologist again because on my first appointment with him he tested and numerically rated my symptoms. That was just a few weeks before I started on CO. I was hoping to have him repeat the tests and re-rate me so we could have some concrete data. Instead he declined to repeat all the tests and declined to give me the previous ratings. He appeared to have no interest in CO even though he could obviously see a difference. I'm looking for a new doctor now.

    However, I am glad I didn't wait for some study or anyone's approval to give it a try, I have had no side effects, save the possibility that the two pounds I gained over the last 4 months might be from CO. I urge people with Parkinson's to give it a try. I am agnostic and skeptical by nature. I expected little and got a miracle. Spread the word.

  • Hi cocokay. Isn't it peculiar! When neurologists come across a Pd patient, who shows signs of improvement, they either clamp up or say that you obviously don't have Pd, even if they are the one who diagnosed you! Pd is difficult to diagnose, but if they come to the conclusion that you have Pd, and tell you this, then they must be convinced that you do have Pd. If you do start to get better, which we know is possible, then they become defensive and the cause of that improvement gets lost forever.


  • It’s beyond frustrating! I would have thought my doctor would have been so excited to see such a huge improvement in such a short time. Not at all… Instead, he demanded to know who told me to do such a thing, and seemed very irritated that I had not complied with his instructions to increase my Carbidopa-Levodopa to 3 times a day. Well, just maybe because increasing that medication lowered my blood pressure significantly, made me dizzy and nauseous, and did nothing to make me feel any better. Or, at 110 pounds, maybe I don’t need as much as most people.

    He said, “All my other patients take it.” Well, I don’t want to be like all his other patients. Apparently, none of them are getting better.

    When I told him I was taking CO, he reacted as if he had never heard of it. I had to repeat the words, coconut oil four times as he mis-repeated it back each time. Finally, the other doctor said loudly…”COCONUT OIL!” That’s when he wanted to know who told me to do that.

    How could a neurologist be completely clueless about a product getting so much buzz for the benefits it can provide for the brain and body?

    Here are a few random links about the amazing benefits of coconut oil. Be sure to watch the video on the 1st link. It will amaze you.

  • Hi cocokay. I had a similar experience, when I had finished writing my book I had said in it, "Nobody would ever know I still have Pd", I thought I had better put this to the test before printing the book. I went to a neurologist, who did not know me and he got very cross with me for, "Wasting his time". I had to pay his fee so I was not wasting his time, I was wasting my money. He said. "You do not have Pd, there is no cure for Pd, therefore you never had Pd". Never mind that I had been taking Pd medication for the past ten years and two neurologists had confirmed the diagnosis. Did he think I diagnosed myself? Later two other neurologists made the statement at a Pd meeting that I do not have Pd and I my book is misleading people.

    Neurologists definitely do not like to hear of people getting better. IT IS BAD FOR BUSINESS!. That is very sad! If the people who should be there to help us, have no desire to see us getting better, then where else do we go for help?


  • Thank you, John Pepper. I tried it with a kitchen chair and got up with my first try. Haven't been able

    to do that in years. Can you tell me how to get up from my recliner chair that does not have space

    between the chair seat and the floor? I have to use both arms and try two to three times. I am going

    to start the exercises behind a kitchen chair next. Thanks again.

  • Hi Lilee: If you are on a recliner you have to wiggle your bum towards the front of the chair until your upper torso and head are above your feet. Then you can get up as you do on a kitchen chair. When I say wriggle your bum, you place your body weight on one cheek and wiggle the other one forwards. Then you do the same on the other cheek. It is difficult on cloth covered chairs but not impossible.

    You should try not to sit on a recliner or sofa. An upright chair is the best for us.

    Kind regards


  • Thank you, John Pepper. I tried it with a kitchen chair and got up with my first try. Haven't been able

    to do that in years. Can you tell me how to get up from my recliner chair that does not have space

    between the chair seat and the floor? I have to use both arms and try two to three times. I am going

    to start the exercises behind a kitchen chair next. Thanks again.

  • Nice one John

    It s so simple ,if tony follow that basic tenet. . To help remember I always say "nose over toes

  • Hi froggatt. I like that, "Nose over Toes". That is what everyone should learn.


  • Simply said, "lean ahead as far as you can, THEN stand up." It really works!

  • Hi gingertach. Before you lean forward, place your feet as far back as possible, underneath you. If your feet are out in front of you it will be impossible to get your body above your toes, which is where it needs to be.

  • Johnpepper, how can I get in contact with you?

  • Hi Rupab. Please go to my website - and click on 'Contact us' and you will be in touch.

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