Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Walkers For Parkinson’s Patients

Pole Walking For Parkinsons: How This Nordic Workout Improves Mobility


Exercise is a vital component to living well with Parkinsons disease . According to Parkinsons Foundation research, exercise can improve many PD symptoms and delay disease progression. Walking is great exercise, yet people with Parkinsons may experience trouble with balance or gait and fear falling.

A new solution for people with PD to comfortably and effectively utilize walking as an exercise option is gaining traction across North America: pole walking, also known as Nordic walking.

Pole walking utilizes specially designed poles in an activity that mimics the motion of cross-country skiing. The walkers arms as well as legs are engaged as the poles propel the body. Walking poles may help users walk faster, more upright, and more steadily. When properly used, the poles take the weight off the walkers knees and lower body joints, which can create the feeling of being light on ones feet.

Pole walking can be particularly helpful for people with Parkinsons, as the poles ensure better posture, and naturally keep the walker more upright. At the same time, taking longer strides can gently stretch limbs and keep the body rotated, which can help loosen up and improve coordination.

While the progression of PD often leads to slow walking with smaller steps, pole walking creates a steady beat to improve pace and encourage the walker to make bigger motions.

Pole walking, according to Mandy, has the added benefit of substantial improvements in mood, confidence and mental health.

What Are The Mobility Issues Of Parkinsons Disease

As a carer for a Parkinsons disease patient, you know that mobility has a major impact on their body. Due to their progress in the disease, they are confronted with challenges in gait leaving them susceptible to falls. The lack of muscle strength or inflexibility, imbalance, impaired cognitive reaction and fatigue or lack of energy are the most common and disabling symptoms in PD and have a significant effect on the patients quality of life.

Gait and self-walking difficulties are the main factors that contribute to walking problems. If they feel insecure when walking or if they experience weakness, then you should consider a walking frame. The symptoms of PD, though, vary a lot between people. You should assess their daily routine to check which mobility aid can best help improve their sense of independence.

The type of walking frames required will depend on the stage of the disease. Traditionally patients start with canes and then transition to walkers as they are more stable than canes or crutches.

What are the benefits of walking frames for Parkinsons Disease?

Walking frames and rollators offer great benefits to its users:

  • They provide stability and balance thanks to the wide support base
  • They improve safety as they are strong and durable
  • They reduce fatigue and pain as they redistribute the weight away from the body to the arms
  • They enhance confidence as the user no longer is dependable for assistance to move around

Benefits Of Exercise For People With Parkinsons Disease

Exercise has been shown to have several significant benefits for people with Parkinsons disease. These helpful effects seem to stem from two specific neurological changes that occur when you work out:

  • The release of a chemical called dopamine: This positively impacts your movement, mood, and sensation of pain.
  • Growth and change in the cortical striatum:This is an area of the brain that controls your voluntary movements.

These two exercise-related changes can result in many concrete advantages for people with Parkinsons, including:

  • Improved balance
  • Reduced sleep disruptions

Also Check: Judy Woodruff Health Problems

How A Rollator Walker Can Help Parkinsons Patients

A Parkinsons patient can take steps to overcome these symptoms and maintain an independent lifestyle. One of those steps includes following the doctors recommendations and taking the prescribed medications to increase dopamine levels in the brain.

Another essential step a Parkinsons patient can take is to use a unique medical device called the U-Step Neuro. The U-Step Neuro is an innovative mobility device used to help people with Parkinsons disease and other neurological conditions improve their gait and eliminate accidental falls while walking. This special rollator walker differs from other walking aids because it provides stability, maneuverability, and, most of all, control.

U-Step Neuros Stability The U-Step Neuro stands apart from all other rollator walkers because of its patented U-shaped base. This base is welded solid, does not wiggle, and provides the user with a low center of gravity since it bears all of the weight. Its ultra-stable and surrounds the user to prevent falling in all directions.

U-Step Neuros Maneuverability The U-Step Neuro has seven wheels: two tiny rear safety wheels to prevent the walker from tipping backward, two larger casters with rolling resistance controls, and three swivel wheels in front, a spring-loaded swivel wheel in the middle, for easy maneuverability around corners and narrow spaces.

U-Step Neuros Control The U-Step Neuro offers better control features than traditional rollator walkers. Users can:

Hugo Adjustable Quad Cane

7 Best Walkers For Parkinson

Lets start with Hugo Adjustable Quad Cane which is arguably one of the best Walking Aids for Parkinsons Patients. The cane comes with a very comfortable handle with an ergonomic design which makes it easier for a Parkinsons patient to hold comfortably while getting a good grip.

One of the main highlights of Hugo Quad Cane is that it comes with an adjustable design which makes it easier to adjust the height according to your comfort. Hugo Quad Cane is ideal for people with a height between 5 and 6.5, which means that it will work well for most people.

Read Also: Cleveland Clinic Parkinson’s Bicycle Study 2017

Best 3 Walkers For Parkinsons Patients

Mzee Wilson seriously needed a walking aid. After diagnosis of Parkinsons at the age of 63, he had been using a walking cane and things seemed right for sometimes. But now, here he was looking for a better solution. Obviously the walking cane was not that effective. It was hurting his wrist and at the same time, he was less stable. We tried a standard walker but it was not that effective.

Then someone suggested that we use the ustep walker which had been proved to be great for most Parkinsons patients.

Here is our list of best parkinsons walkers arranged in order of rating:

How Much Control Do I Have Over The Walker

The reverse breaking system of the U-Step II Walker helps in completely stopping the movement of the walker the moment your grip on the handle releases. The walker will not roll until you lightly squeeze either hand brake. Once you release the hand brake, the unit will stop immediately. This feature is particularly helpful when standing up from a chair because the unit will not roll away from you.

Unlike other rolling walkers, you can adjust the rolling speed of the U-Step II. Many people find wheeled walkers roll too fast for them. That is why there is an engineered control for setting the rolling resistance.

The patented spring-loaded front caster system glides easily over uneven surfaces, such as indoor molding strips and cracks in the sidewalk. This avoids sudden jolts as well as the need to lift the walker over small obstacles.

Also Check: Voice Amplifiers For Parkinson’s

Bungee Cord Support System Walker Customization For Staying Mobile With Parkinsons & Additional Safety Features

We utilized a wider base of support for greater stability, added ergonomic hand grips to reduce patient strain, and increased the wheel size to accommodate for different floor terrains . According to the level of assistance required, you can use the bungee straps to support either one leg at a time or both legs simultaneously. The bungee cords actively assist with lower-limb advancement as you prepare for fully functional ambulation. In particular, the bungee system improves stance control, gait fluidity, and step cadence.

With a simple cam lock, you can fully adjust the MATRIX Gait Trainers bungee cord system medially, laterally, and in tension. Height adjustments occur at the two handles rather than at each of the four wheels this lets therapists focus on the patient with minimal set-up distraction.

  • Patented Design
  • Materials: Extruded 6063-T5 aluminum, injection molded nylon, machined steel
  • Dimensions & Weight:
  • Patient Height Range: 56 to 62
  • Patient Weight Limit: 350 lb

Intended Use of the MATRIX Gait Trainer for Parkinsons and other Neurological Conditions



Walking Strategies For People Living With Parkinsons

U Step Parkinson Walker with Laser for People with Parkinson’s Disease

Various strategies can help people living with Parkinsons who have difficulty walking, but a new study finds that many people have never heard of or tried these strategies.

The study also found that how well different compensation strategies worked depended on the context in which they were used, such as indoors versus outdoors, under time pressure or not.

We know people with Parkinsons often spontaneously invent creative detours to overcome their walking difficulties, in order to remain mobile and independent, said study author Anouk Tosserams MD of the Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

For example, people walk to the rhythm of a metronome, by mimicking the gait of another person, or by counting in their head. We found that people are rarely educated about all the different compensation strategies. When they are, people often find strategies that work better for them and their unique circumstances.

For the study, researchers surveyed 4,324 people with Parkinsons and disabling gait impairments. These include problems like imbalance, shuffling, falling, staggering, and freezing.

Of the participants, 35 percent found that their walking difficulties affected their ability to perform their usual daily activities and 52 percent had one or more falls in the past year.

The survey explained the seven main categories of compensation strategies. They are:

  • Internal cueing, like walking to a count in your head
  • Read Also: Parkinson’s Hallucinations Commercial

    At The Age Of 7 Matt Eagles Was Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease But That Has Never Stopped Him From Achieving His Goals And Living Life To The Full

    After undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation , Matt is now able to control his Parkinson’s through an electric current that goes into his brain.

    “I’ve never at any point thought I’ve got Parkinson’s so I can’t do this.” Matt Eagles.

    Matt inspires everyone he meets. This is Matt’s story of living with Parkinsons.

    We at Trionic are happy to see that Matt is using the Veloped everyday now, benefitting from all the unique features.

    I am so incredibly grateful to you guys and Charlotte and Russ at Parkinsons Concierge for the Veloped. It was a complete surprise and I had absolutely no idea that my wife had been arranging with Charlotte and Russ that they would deliver it personally! I have to say …for once I was speechless!! I could have cried!!

    Matt describes the benefits he is been seeing so far:

    • I use it every day , it has given me more confidence to go out and about when my walking isnt so good when previously I would have stayed in.
    • It has helped my posture
    • I feel so proud walking with it, I actually feel like an athlete ready for the Olympics . Passers by stop me and ask about it!

    Wheelchairs: Choosing The Right One

    As PD advances, a wheelchair may become a necessity. It is important to know what to look for when picking the chair and who on your comprehensive care team can help you make this decision.Here are a few tips to guide you through the process:

    • Schedule an appointment with your occupational or physical therapist to find out which chair best meets your needs.
    • Check with your insurance company to learn about covered services in your plan. Not all wheelchairs will be covered.
    • Try to pick a lightweight wheelchair, as they are easier to lift in and out of the car. Depending on your needs and your caregiver situation, you might want a wheelchair with more features for the home and a lighter, even foldable, wheelchair for travel.
    • Choose a reclining chair back, which is helpful if making posture changes, have low blood pressure or need to rest during the day.

    Don’t Miss: Prayers For Parkinson’s Disease

    Reduced Risk Of Falling

    The goal of getting a walker for parkinsons walker is to reduce the risk of falling as well as improving the gait of the patient, right? Well, you want a stable walker that will offer support to the patient while at the same time reducing the risk of the patient falling.

    Before getting any walker, you also want to consider whether the patient is demented or not. For a demented person, even the best walker might not serve the purpose. They would need you to supervise them and walk with them all the time.

    What Is The Best Walking Stick For Parkinsons Patients

    7 Best Walkers For Parkinson

    In this guide, I have shared 3 different walking sticks, and all three of them have their pros and cons. However, if you want the best, I recommend Campbell Posture Cane which is the best Walking Stick for Parkinsons Patients due to its ergonomic design. If you want a Walking Stick with a Conventional design, you can go for Carex Folding Cane.

    Also Check: Parkinson’s Double Vision

    Helping Those With Advanced Parkinsons Disease

    The results of a small study being presented at the American Neurological Association meeting this week in Chicago suggest that when helping these people with their walking, there are some careful choices to be made. Using a walker actually increases the number of times people freeze and makes the sticky spots last longer. But when its necessary to use a walker to lower fall risk, devices with wheels are best because they dont seem to impair the user as much as the unwheeled varieties.

    In Parkinsons disease, the brains nerve cells progressively die. With healthy people, the cells produce a chemical called dopamine that helps direct muscle activity. As brain cells are lost, parts of the persons body, such as a resting hand, often have a shaky, quivering movement called tremor.

    Muscular rigidity is another problem. As it progresses, people find it more difficult to start moving. Walking slows, and affected people do what doctors call freezing, which is a hesitation in walking that can cause patients to slip and possibly fall, says Esther Cudo, MD, visiting assistant professor of neurology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center in Chicago.

    As their symptoms get worse, people with Parkinsons disease commonly use walking aids. But there has been no organized study looking at whether walkers help patients move more easily or safely, she says.

    This pattern was the same in patients with and without dementia, Cudo tells WebMD.

    Show Sources

    Soft Ergonomic Grips With Brakes

    If you suffer from arthritis or any dexterity issues, finding a walker with grips that cater to your hands is essential. You also want to make sure that the brake and folding mechanisms are designed for easy use. Your hands shouldnt have to be stressed when using a tool designed to make your life easier.

    When it comes to adequate breaks, dont neglect this important safety feature or assume you wont ever need to use it brakes are an important component of any walker, especially if the user is unstable on their feet.

    Make sure you look at the brakes before buying many times the brakes can become defective, warns Dr. Kuhn.

    Recommended Reading: Weighted Silverware

    Nordic Walking And Parkinsons Disease

    Let me introduce Wendy*.

    She joined Nordic Walking Watford in April 2017, shortly after her diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease. Very much in denial, she struggled to come to terms with the physical and emotional changes such a diagnosis brings. Trying to juggle work and looking after her own physical and mental health became a challenge and eventually, Wendy stopped Nordic Walking.

    And then along came Covid

    However, Wendy was still keen on being active and understood the importance of exercise with Parkinsons Disease. Determined to get back to Nordic Walking, Wendy took advantage of our *NEW* ARMCHAIR TO ACTIVE programme.

    Gently progressive over 6 weeks, this unique course helps clients develop healthy habits through Nordic Walking. Its ideal for those with long-term health conditions, recovering from illness or injury, and those who lack confidence.

    Wendy completed the course, improving both fitness and confidence in her ability, and has gone on to participate in our regular walks. She recently clocked up an amazing 13 miles over 3 days! And she has made new friendships and connections along the way. Importantly, Wendy is learning that she can walk regularly if she paces herself and has some rest time in between her walks.

    As her instructor, it has been so wonderful to watch Wendy progress and see her blossom on so many levels.

    How can Nordic Walking help Parkinsons Disease?

    At a molecular level, at least two things happen to make dopamine use more efficient:

    What Is The Best Walker For Parkinsons Patients

    Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease with a Walker

    If you are looking for the best Walker for Parkinsons Patients, I recommend you to go for Drive Medical Folding Walker. The best thing about Drive Medical Folding Walker is that its extremely lightweight due to its aluminum frame. Also, it comes with a foldable design, which makes it easier to carry it while traveling.

    You May Like: Similar To Parkinsons

    Can I Use The U

    The patented spring-loaded front caster system glides easily over uneven surfaces, such as indoor molding strips and cracks in the sidewalk. This avoids sudden jolts as well as the need to lift the walker over small obstacles.

    Lifting a walker to go up a curb or small stair can be dangerous. This innovative feature is designed to help you safely and easily go up a curb or one step. Either by stepping down on the back of the base or just by pulling back on the handlebars, you can raise the front of the walker to go up a curb or small step.

    Path Finder Laser Shoes

    These lightweight shoes were first launched in 2017 and since then they have helped many Parkinsons patients to walk freely without encounter gait problems. These were designed by Lise Pape, who was a graduate student at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College of London, and now the CEO and founder of Walk With Path.

    The main unit of Path Finder shoes is the laser device which is attached to the rubber strap that can easily fit a shoe. When switching on, the laser unit initiates a bright green line which can be calibrated by rotating the laser unit. The laser line attracts the attention of the patient and allows the patients focus on moving forward.

    You May Like: Parkinson Silverware

    Popular Articles
    Related news