Parkinson's Movement
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Shopping today

Hope this post is not to mundane. Have noticed that when I am away from home it is much more difficult to walk.

Does anyone else have this difficulty.

Spent my whole time rehearsing ‘plant your heel’ over and over again. As long as I said this and kept in step I could maintain my walking. The minute I stopped concentrating I was back to a shuffle

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Yes, whenever I go anywhere for some reason I shuffle, when I walk, but when taking our walks morning/evening... I don’t shuffle at all and take longer steps

Today, I started physical therapy. The therapist is very encouraging that my balance and walking will improve. It was nice to have his positivity.

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Yes, even with Sinemet I still shuffle, and I have balance problems. I couldn’t walk a straight line, if my life depended on it! Maybe one or two steps in a straight line and then forget it, from there. A three pronged cane does help me, though.

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The Neurologist told me today that had to start using my stroller rolater all the time. I knew the cane wasn’t helping much any more. I’m so much more steady and comfortable with my stroller

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I’m glad you feel more comfortable and steady with the stroller rotator. Whatever it takes to help, is the way I look at it.

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Sorry to hear that you're having problems. I mentioned this before in a post a couple of weeks back. This is where a treatment program like LSVT BIG is great. It reinforces strategies to use in real life situations, when distractions and dual tasking can make walking and other functions difficult. It is an intense programme so techniques become more automatic and habitual, making it easier to use them when there are real world distractions around you. Ask your neurologist, physio or OT. Good luck!

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At my neurophysio appointment in September I asked for help practising conscious strategies for stepping up a knee high step. On holiday I had found it very difficult to step out of a shallow hydra pool and had to get out on my knees and get up in a very inelegant fashion.

But when we tried a mock up with me climbing on a chair I could do it just fine and I realised I climb on the step stool in my kitchen several times a day without thinking!

She says that perceived risk can affect out ability to do things - my brain may have been weighing up the distance, the water etc in a new environment and may have had too much to do compared with the familiar task of climbing a step stool indoors.

Perhaps this throws some light on the 'at home' vs the 'out and about' variations in your experience?

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I have little problem walking at home but when out, particularly surrounded by other people, I find it much harder to focus on my gait. My attention is divided by different surroundings, avoiding other people (particularly people walking quickly while texting) and the need to be conscious of my body movements. I began using a cane early on because I found that if I was with my wife out shopping I had to concentrate so intensely I would not hear a word she said. I have recently begun using a rollator when out for two reasons. One, it makes others around me more aware on my presence and two, I find the bilateral stability of the rollator improves my gait and allows me to relax more when out. I still find I need no aids at home. I have never been concerned about the stigma of using walking aids and prioritize my safety and quality of time with my family over how I might appear to others.

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I think that when we are away fom home we are marginally more stressed - we are activating our sympathetic nervous system rather than our parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation). I think that in turn makes it harder to activate the parts of the brain that are responsible for movement - just observation from watching my friends with PD. I think it is important to keep relaxing and working on"vagal tone" . There is lots about this on the "outthinking Parkinson's" website, and particularly, on the Facebook page.

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Yes the website widens the scope of what we can do to help ourselves.

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I have just read the other replies, and it seems to me that the last two are more examples of that little bit of extra stress making things more difficult. This is the reason that we developed our alpha device. I hope that we will make out first batch soon, and if people would like me to keep them in touch please email me at anna@annamckay.com, and I will do so. zeez.org.uk/product/zeez-al...

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