Treat your Feet with Parkinson’s disease

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Treat your Feet with Parkinson’s disease

Posted on: July 10th, 2018

This post was written by Valerie Johnson

Treat Your Feet

By Valerie Johnson, PT, DPT

Pain and cramping in the legs and feet are common and unpleasant for people with Parkinson’s disease. Prop up your feet, relax, and enjoy some of these of ways to care for your tired feet and get some relief!

  1. The original foot alignment sock

  1. Yoga toes

  1. Correct Toes Silicone Stretchers

  1. Foot Massagers: small balls to roll under your feet.

Tennis ball- alternative

  1. Foot Wakers

  1. Plantar fasciitis sock- optional

Stretching: It’s free

*Other Considerations:

  1. Epsom salt soaks in a warm tub
  2. Hydrate- drink plenty of water
  3. Ask your doctor about supplementing with magnesium, B12, and to address any lower leg or foot swelling
  4. Foot massages – manual or machines
  5. Pedicures- Bring your spouse, friends, and even your own bottle of wine while your feet get pampered. Don’t forget, you’ll be sitting in a reclining massage chair, so you can relax from head to toe.

Always seek professional advice from a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. This blog post is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical diagnostics or treatments. Consult your physician before trying any new products or exercises.

Mental Health and Parkinson’s Disease

Posted on: June 24th, 2018

This post was written by Valerie Johnson

When you are combating something like PD, you can’t undervalue your mental health. Stress, anxiety, depression, and apathy are common in PD. Depression can be one of the first symptoms of PD before motor symptoms even arise. Further more, stress can make motor symptoms such as tremor and dyskinesia worse. Stress not! Depression and associated symptoms are quite treatable. In this talk, you will hear advice from mental health expert Ashley Stafford, LCSW. We will learn how to identify symptoms and discuss various treatment strategies available to you and your loved ones.

Parkinson’s disease: Exercise Essentials

Posted on: April 15th, 2018

This post was written by Valerie Johnson

Are you interested in reducing your PD symptoms, decreasing your reliance on PD medications, and preventing falls? If you answered yes to any of these questions then this is the video for you. Dr. Valerie Johnson, PT, DPT teams up with Dr. Alison Geymer, PT, DPT to discuss the importance of exercise for PD. Enjoy!

Valerie Johnson, DPT on Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease

Posted on: March 28th, 2018

This post was written by Valerie Johnson

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Simple Unfreezing Techniques for Parkinson’s Disease

Posted on: March 21st, 2018

This post was written by Valerie Johnson


Hello everybody!

Let’s start with something simple, shall we?

Learn five Simple unfreezing techniques for Parkinson’s and enjoy your new found freedom.

Freezing can be an unpleasant symptom of Parkinson’s disease. One out 3 people with Parkinson’s report having episodes where their feet feel “stuck” to the floor when walking, especially when changing surfaces or directions and walking through the threshold of a door. People also experience freezing when attempting to get up from a chair because their seat feels like it is stuck to the chair. Freezing is more likely to occur during multitasking or distractions, and worsens with increased fatigue, anxiety, or depression. Thankfully, there are some very effective strategies for getting unstuck.

The 5 S Method is a great way to get unstuck during a freezing episode.

1st) STOP– Stop fighting your fussy feet. The more you fight it, the worse it gets.

2nd) STAND TALL– Shift your weight back onto your feet until your back is flat.

3rd) SHAKE IT OFF– Calm down.

4th) SHIFT WEIGHT– All the way from one foot to the other until you lean so far that one foot comes unstuck from the ground. Move your hips back and forth if your standing. It you’re sitting, shift your shoulders back and forth.

5th) STEP– Take a huge step forward and strike your heel! If standing from a chair, make a large pushing/ reaching motion with your hands as you rise.


More Bonus Strategies: Remember, it takes practice!

  1. Count down from 5 (5-4-3-2-1 STEP!)
  2. Look forward and choose a target. Estimate how many steps it will take you to get there. Take a big first step and hit with you heel.
  3. Use music- Start singing a song to yourself. Example: “The Ants go Marching 2×2 Hurrah! Hurrah!”
  4. Use a target on the floor such as a crack or a tile and step over it. Imaging a bug that you are trying to step on. Or imagine that you are standing in the middle of a clock and need to step onto a number on the clock.
  5. Set up a 4-5 booster training sessions with a Parkinson’s specific physical therapist with a focus on freezing.
  6. When changing directions while walking, imagine that you are walking around the edge of a round clock, stepping on the numbers as you go.