Tips, tricks and strategies

Most fellow PD people have one or two handy tips for dealing with or reducing some of the symptoms they experience. Others may find this knowledge helpful, or it might give them fresh ideas to try, so if anyone has any tips that work for them maybe they would like to share them here.

  1. I find the intrusive effect of my arm tremor( (especially when relaxing or watching TV) is reduced when I rest that arm slightly away from my body on something supportive and soft like a cushion or folded sweater. Or a fold of duvet in bed.

  2. When in an anxious, shaky patch I can sometimes distract myself with a book, puzzle or even a basic chore. This can bring everything back to a more manageable level fairly quickly.

  3. Shopping was made easier when I changed my purse and handbag for something simpler and more structured. Out with the fashionable floppy bags. And if it’s busy I make sure I have loose money in my hand ready, then slip the change in a handy pocket to sort later. My sister did suggest using a card to pay but I know I would get stressed worrying that I may loose it!

Look forward to hearing any ideas to try. Hope someone joins me in this thread Daffy

Hi Daffy, one of the things that help me.

  1. I drop my mobile frequently, alongside the traditional misplacing it and missing calls. I made a pouch on a strap to wear around my neck, and now problems much reduced.
    I shall remember more things !

Flat secure footwear is a must for me now. Ok, so it’s not always fashionable - but a whole lot better than staggering around and nearly falling over! Daffy

Oh I totally agree about the footwear, I trip over or fall off of flat surfaces quite enough without adding heels into the mix.

Hi Roro,
your pic looks like you have short hair. That’s another one for me too. Something easy to manage.
I go by the KISS system these days, told to me by a colleague ages ago, but it seems to fit a lot of my life. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. If I’m not sure how to handle something I just remember KISS, it focuses my mind - a bit! Daffy

Hi Daffy,

I thought I would share something that helps me. I find that if I have a shaky period ( for me its just right side arm and leg, usually) I go on my cross-trainer for 5mins light exercise and this usually settles things down for the rest of the day. On a particularly bad day I may only feel settled for a few hrs, but it always has a positive effect. Sometimes I struggle to stay on the beast, feeling quite unstable, but if I persevere I I get through that and my tremours stop. I think its important that I am getting my arms and legs to work in harmony - remind them how they are supposed to behave.

Keeping hydrated and having a glass of cold water (provided I hold it in my left hand) also seems to help.

I wonder is anyone else finds this sort thing helps. DaviT

Morning Daffy, yes short hair is wonderfully easy. I can get away with a shake of head and ready to go, forget elaborate manovers!

The cross trainer sounds a good idea for focusing coordination, I have not been on one since my twenties. Being so wonky with osteoarthritis I struggle with that type of exercise, but I shall try to do something that includes arms and legs.
I keep a 2 litre bottle of sparkling water by my seat and sip throughout the day, reminds me to drink enough as a I don’t have hot drinks unlike most people who get regular calls from their kettles!

Hi David T
Good to hear from you.
It’s my left side, arm and leg affected. A cross-trainer sounds worth a try to me. I’ll see if I can find a second hand one to try- never having been on one one before! Like you I find exercise helps. I don’t know if it’s the distraction or increased blood to the brain but I do feel better afterwards.
I have an old exercise bike but have often thought my upper half could do with some exercise too.
I’ve got two dogs so do a reasonable amount of walking but nothing intensive.
I go to tai chi class twice a month too. And yes I drink a lot of water - my family joke about it.
Thanks Daffy

Just thought of something else. If I I know I’ll be cooking a meal after a long day I try to do some preparation earlier in the day - even if it’s only peel a few potatoes as my left hand tends to go on strike at the end of a long day when I’m tired. They can go on to cook the minute I get in then. Daffy

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As someone with PD I’ve learned not to put my hands in pockets in case I stumble and need a free hand to save myself

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Yes, me too. I use my exercise bike, or if out and about I just force myself to power walk for a few minutes. I was shown the trick quite recently by my therapist at the European Parkinson’s Therapy Centre.

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Great tips thank you.

Hi, thanks. If you have any to share I’d be glad to hear of them.

When walking I have noticed I can no longer turn around like I used to. I turn round with several foot movements (bit like a clock hands moving round). Since I’ve been doing this I haven’t had any falls. Hope I haven’t just jinxed myself saying that!

Hello Daffy, I do the lock turn just like you and many other PDS ending up with my feet close together but find to move forward is a problem.
My feet tend to be frozen or stuck to the floor.I have tried counting 123 go, humming a tune .and swaying from side to side, but usually end up stuttering forward in a stumble.
NOW I use a simple technique which seems to work for me.
Before moving forward move one foot back so you are standing as if you have already taken a step, ie. one foot in front of the other, it is then easier to take the next step.
I hope anyone who has the same difficulty finds this tip of some help.


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Hi Malc,
So far I haven’t had much of a problem with freezing but your idea makes a lot of sense.

Hi there

I am a member of our branch walking group and we suggest to everyone who is accompanied by someone on a walk that if they freeze their companion should place their own foot in front of the PwP’s foot at right angles. The PwP’s brain seems to register an impediment which causes them to lift their frozen foot and resume walking. It seems to work well

The alternative mentioned by someone else in the stream is to step backwards which then appears to trigger the brain into continuity of movement. Counting as you walk or listening to a marching beat can also help and possibly increase your speed of walking. Anything to keep moving! Fizzy

Nordic walking is the outdoor equivalent of using a cross trainer. It has the added advantage of getting sunlight and fresh air in your lungs. If you want to know more about it try the Nordicwalkinguk website.
The principle is similar to cross-country skiing but without the snow and skis. A set of poles costs you around £30.
The extra benefits are well worth having. It helps your balance and makes good use of 90% of your skeletal muscles. Then there is the fresh air. A Nordic walk taken early in the morning forestalls air pollution and gives you the dawn chorus as a delightful bonus. Then you have the rest of the free to do what you like with. Life-affirming!