Stiffness and jerky walking

Can anyone suggest anything to make my walking smoother. I was dx in December and put onto increasing doses of sinemet 12.5/50 up to three tablets three times daily. I went onto the CR ones for a short while, but they didn't appear to suit me, so I am back on three tablets three times daily.

I have had a couple of collapses when my knees gave way and have now bought a walker with a seat. But my walking is very stiff and rather jerky, which I am sure is fairly new. There is a tendancy to shuffle, but I can stride out if I want to, leaving me exhausted. OK, I am 84, but would welcome any suggestions. Should I try increasing the sinemet?

I am on steroids for Temporal Arteritis, but don't think it is related to this.

My next hospital appointment isn't until September.

8 Replies

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  • When I was taking the Sinemet equivalent called Madopar in 50/12.5mg doses I couldn't tell I'd taken anything. Any benefit was not clear to me. But when the dose was increased to double, i.e. 125 mg the effect was astonishing. My walking became normal with very infrequent freezing and felt generally better and certainly more relaxed. Don't forget to wait about 1 hour before the drug can take effect.

  • Hi sorry your having a rough ride.I dont think you should consider increasing these meds further.At your age you dont metabolise these medications as well as younger person.Sometimes less gives you a better resposne than more.Make changes slowly over weeks or several months.The best response takes time to achieve.

  • Do you get constipated that cap'n make a if difference to how the mess work , at least that is what the nurse asks each time she comes Take care .Sometimes slowing slowly is better especaally when ordered ,better safe than sorry , it's not giving in its being in control and safe . otherwise , YOU WILL FALL

  • Marge

    I do best with Sinemet in extended release form. You can tell that by label. ER will be next to chemical name.

  • Hi Trenny. Yes! There is a way you can improve your walking, which you have hinted at, when you said, "I can stride out if I want to". When you do that, you are CONSCIOUSLY taking control of your walking! If you were to consciously move your legs and arms, on every step, you would walk better and safer! but that is not easy to do. It takes practice! Practice makes perfect, as they say!

    At your age, which is 4 years older than mine, you may find that your muscles are too weak to enable you to walk properly. Maybe you should try doing exercises to strengthen your leg muscles, before you try the CONSCIOUS WALKING!

    Good luck.

    John

  • A couple of things:

    1. Increase the effectiveness of your muscles by making sure they have the hormones they need to function, not by taking more steroids, but by taking Iodine in the form of Potassium Iodate (50mg Capsules by Vitamin Research... on Amazon). Steroids are made from Iodine and if you don't have enough your body can't manufacture it.

    2. You may want to try mucuna pruriens. It's basically the herb that Levodopa is extracted from, but according to NIH studies, it might be more effective, with less side effects than the Levodopa/Carbidopa combination that is Sinemet. (Carbidopa was added to reduce the vomiting and nausea side effects of Levodopa, but has the side effect of shutting down Vitamin B6 in your body).

    3. Supplementing with Vitamin D3 has been shown to reduce stiffness and chronic pain in muscles, plus helps reduce daytime sleepiness and night time restlessness.

  • Many thanks, all. There are some useful and interesting suggestions here.

  • I have always thought that it was very interesting that people with PD often do not step on their heels. They shuffle because they are stepping only on their flat foot. I first noticed this because of my PD and my grandson being in a high school marching band. They march heel and then toe to go forwards, and toe and then heel to go backwards. I could see by watching them that I wasn't walking properly.

    I take Sinemen and, like John, I stay very conscious of how I walk. I have been walking for a year or more in a type of tennis shoe. Recently I went back to wearing a shoe with a moderate heel. I am being very conscious of putting the heel down, more than I was with the tennis type shoe. I am also being very conscious of lifting my knee on both legs. One knee doesn't naturally do this. Also making sure I take fairly large steps. I walk at least an hour a day, sometimes in only 20 minute segments.

    I am also practicing walking backwards because I am most likely to fall if I am tempted to take a step backwards to avoid something. It seems really silly to me sometimes to say I "practice walking" but then I do have PD. When I practice walking backwards, I am taking my lesson from the marching band. Toe and then heel, observing exactly what I am doing.

    I also follow Rick Hansen, Phd, who encourages "taking in the good". Using our feeling state to enrich our experiences. So while I am walking, I rejoice in the body feeling of walking in a way that works and allowing that body feeling and my emotions to work together.

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