Fighting PD's bradykinesia


#1
Hi.

I have PD only on my left side (so far). I've been forcing myself to use my left side in the hope that it will retain its function longer. But I am not sure I am doing the right thing and thought Id ask the forum if any of you have done this or have an opinion to share.

When I go for my daily walk, I “force” (think very hard about it until it moves) my left arm to swing. Even forcing it does not cause it to move naturally and after a few minutes, my hand and arm shake severely!
Another “exercise” of mine is to walk around the kitchen while shaking a bottle of dressing (mixing it). This requires a lot of concentration (shaking the bottle constantly, swing the leg, drop the foot) and causes my tremor to go wild.
I also make myself use my left hand to control the (computer) mouse. Frustrating, but I hope it will help me to retain finer motor control.

The point of all this is, “use it or lose it” - like muscles.
However, more recently I've been wondering if this might be damaging the few neurons I have left! Forcing the motion increases the tremors – so, maybe I should not do it.

Should I continue to force the motions or take the easy road by simply using my right hand more and live with a left side shuffle?

Your thoughts appreciated.

Jamie

#2
you are right on the money jamie l .i think your attacking attitude is bang on. don't even think about wearing out the neurons you have left. in-fact think of every -thing you do as having a massively beneficial effect on your well-being. when walking it is a good idea to vary the pace of walk ,even start sprinting and then slow the walk down to long slow strides .to hell with what anyone thinks try to walk tall ,walk with pride ,try to develop a real rolls -royce swagger of a walk .after all it is not your fault you got this thing .it can also be an idea to carry a heavy brief case,it acts as a pendulum to keep your arm swinging/stoping shaking and you can alternate between arms if you sense one arm is going better than t'other but if worse comes to worse and you do start shaking and feeling self conscious try then to work on composure /losing sense of embarresment.keep your poise, after all just because we are shaking externally does not mean we cannot be as calm as a cucumber internally. the body can often pick up the inner calmness the same way as anxious feelings can render us jibbering wrecks so work on calmness and inner confidence and it will stand you in good stead for the long run

#3
Hi Jamie, welcome to the forum.

I think it is good that you are using your pd side although it is proving challenging, like you say, use it or loose it but what does concern me is that you maybe pushing yourself too much. I did this and started getting secondary complications. My motto now is little and often instead of lots all in one go and causing burn out which sets me back for days to come. Also, I try to do things more challenging when my meds are working well and i'm not going into an 'off' period, that way I am less likely to strain myself. These days I notice my muscles strain easy and I also bruise very easily. Or am I just getting old?:wink:

Cutiepie

#4
Hi Jamie L,
I have problems with my right side,my good side,i'm right handed.Things always seem worse in a public place.I have done and do the same as you with the arm swing and trying to keep exercising them.I don't push to hard though because the sheer frustration inside is like nails on a Blackboard to me.
Using my left more is becoming natural to me.There is not much difference in writing and most fine tasks are now perfomed with my left.Keep everything ticking along is like keeping a machine well oiled.Hopefully things won't seize up.
Keep exercising
All the best
Titan

#5
Hi Jamie!

Dont see what harm its doing forceing your body. I force my body to do loads it doesnt want to do, and most of the time I get my way.
As for hiding the lack of a swing, it pays to be a female and carry a handbag. But I wouldnt recomend it for all fellas lol.