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Muscle weakness in Parkinson's disease

It is common for Parkinson’s Disease patients to feel weak. The specific cause of reported weakness is not known, and questions such as whether it is of central or peripheral origin, and intrinsic to the disease or a secondary phenomenon, remain matters of debate. The diminished performance caused by weakness may be a primary sign of PD and may be explained by disturbed motor programming in the basal ganglia.

Exercise, which includes being active, stretching, practicing good posture, and doing strengthening exercises, should be a key component of your daily life.

Aerobic activities such as:

Using a treadmill • Using a stationary bike or rowing machine • Walking • Swimming • Dancing Other activities such as: • Yoga • Tai Chi • Pilates • Golf • Gardening is all very helpful.

Your strength training should focus on the following muscle groups:

  • Core muscles (abdominals)

  • Thigh muscles (quadriceps)

  • Buttocks (gluteals)

  • Back muscles

  • Arm muscles (triceps)

  • Hands and wrists

In general, strength training should be done two to three times per week, but scheduled so that you’re not targeting the same muscles on consecutive days, as your muscles need to rest and recover, the Parkinson's foundation advises.

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