I have been diagnosed with PD within last year. On prescribed med. which is working. I would like to know why I stoop all the time. What exercises can I do to help. I had ankle op last year which I put the stooping down to. Not sure now. Thanks

Hi and welcome to the forum @Rosalie. You’ll find everyone very friendly here and someone should be along soon to say hello and let you know if they’ve had this experience. Have you had a chance to talk about this with your doctor or the surgeon who performed your operation? They may have some answers for you too.

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Hello Rosalie and welcome to the forum. A stooped posture is very common in Parkinson’s. In simple terms as I understand it, Parkinson’s affects automatic responses and the brain effectively forgets to remind you to stand tall. It is obviously more complex than that but as a simplistic explanation it serves the purpose. Also, you may or may not know but the head is actually quite a heavy part of the body and if you stoop even a little your head tends to drop forward and the effects of gravity can make the stoop more pronounced. Apart from problems caused by not using your spine correctly etc etc it is also very uncomfortable and exhausting. You may not be able to eradicate it completely but there are things you can do.

First become very aware of your posture and if you catch yourself stooping pull up so you are standing straighter.

Do exercises that develop core strength in particular what is called scapula retraction which is basically bending your arm at the elbow and pulling back as far as you can, but any movement that pulls your shoulder blades back is good, keeping your head up. Have a look at YouTube - put something like core strength exercises and Parkinsons- and you will find loads of videos etc.

Balance exercises are also good so that you learn how to stretch properly and also learn about finding your centre of gravity - which can be thrown out of sync.

Finally I have one of these and it is sometimes helpful but I don’t use it all the time it depends how much I’m stooping but be aware it doesn’t solve the problem in the way the above can help it is a means of support.

Personally I find some days I tend to stoop more than others and if tired or not having a particularly good day it’s not always possible to correct and maintain a better posture but the key is just to accept its one of those days and don’t let it frustrate you too much.

Hope this helps a bit.