The First Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

©2012 Sherri Woodbridge

In response to a question posed to those with Parkinson’s disease, “What were your first symptoms of PD?”, the following is a list of answers – an important reminder that PD affects no two people the same way.  (FYI – Since this post was originally published, it has been updated and includes newer responses that may not have been previously mentioned.)

…First thing I noticed was that I was having a hard time with my balance. …I was working as an order and receiving clerk, so I was on my feet quite a lot. I had this counter that I used when checking in merchandise and I would find myself leaning against it to get some support…I found myself also actually curling my toes to help with balance. To this day the toes on my left foot are curled down. About this same time, I noticed that my hand writing was getting worse and worse and went on to being very small. Then shortly before I was diagnosed with PD, I was walking in the Mall and started feeling very strange and was having a very hard time walking. At this point I also noticed I had little or no arm swing. Shortly after this I was dx. It had taken almost 2 years to get it figured out. Within a few days of starting meds, I felt like a different person.

…right thumb would twitch and I thought it was stress and being over tired. It has progressed to my whole hand and sometimes arm shakes and my head bobbles and when the meds do wear off, I can feel my whole body tremble.

…a tremor in my left hand then my neck would sometimes feel like it was vibrating; arms didn’t swing when I walked. …8 yrs later my balance is bad – I fall sometimes; no tremors because meds help that. …fatigue is horrible. Seems like everything I try to do I end up needing help.

…Left hand tremor, stiffness and slowness for me.

…my hand witting. It had gotten quite small and seemed to always slant down. Then came the balance and my legs started just feeling strange and on my right side I started noticing I had no arm swing.

…intermittent pain/spasm in right neck that massages, chiropractors, and acupuncturists could never fix. For five years I had what I thought was an “intention” tremor of right fingers until a friend saw me at rest and said “Is that a little Parkinson’s I see?” Denial. About that time my handwriting was so small even I couldn’t read it.

…intention tremor and uncoordinated trying to put shoes on. …ratcheting in neck.

…a right hand tremor and a feeling of unbalance.

…slight tremor on left thumb.

…my left arm wouldn’t swing while I walked. Soon after my left would shake to a point my entire arm is one big tremor. My left flank is on and off in a rigid state.

…tremor, stiffness and slowness in my left hand, combined with dizziness, somewhat sudden loss of coordination and most of all fatigue.

…stiff right neck, tremor and slight weakness left arm, then slightly dragging right leg—but agree most debilitating symptom is fatigue like I always have flu. …tightness in ribs so that I can’t quite take a big breath.

…handwriting became atrocious. Then I discovered I could barely wiggle my right toes. Then it felt like I had to drag my right leg. It seemed dead.

…started with a tremor in my right hand. I had several people ask why my hand was shaking. At that point I also had a pinched nerve on my right side witch made my hand numb.

…handwriting became smaller with each line. I felt “anxious” and tense with slight tremor and dizziness.

…tremor in left hand and extreme fatigue.

…Gait issues/weakness in legs and rigidity had to be my first signs.

…tremors both hands/wrists/arms and even both legs at times too.

…NON-MOTOR symptoms such as multi-tasking, organizational skills, prioritizing, memory, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue (these last 3 have been mentioned). …Restless Leg Syndrome, cramping toes, and there is the loss of the sense of smell, sometimes taste goes along with it. …I began to notice that my right arm didn’t swing, I caught the ball of my right foot – wearing new shoes and employer had installed new carpet, I told myself – and would stumble. …my right foot would bounce if I crossed my legs or didn’t have it planted. Next came the MJF pinkie flutter, the index finger and then the thumb.

…tremors …then came the pure exhaustion. I felt like just sleeping on my porch, I was too tired to get up and go to bed. My legs hurt bad, had muscle pain and cramps.

…slight tremor in my right hand last year followed by a frozen shoulder. I developed major anxiety that I have never experienced before and then a weird feeling in my right foot that impaired my walking.

…right hand tremor plus a numb feeling in my two little fingers.

…noticed my right thumb shaking… occasional drool is also a symptom.

…fingers not flexible; hard to wiggle/maneuver them…very tired/sore back; trouble walking; slower

…exhaustion…shake uncontrollably when excited, angry or scared. …a gait.

…tremor of my right hand….at times my whole arm would stiffen and ache…shaving was a nightmare. I was in denial for quite a while after diagnosis.

…left hand tremor especially noticeable when I was eating.

…tremor in my left hand. …loss of smell and shoulder problems were also symptoms and I had those years before the tremor.

…balance not so good; handwriting got real pinched.

…left arm didn’t swing and I was starting to drag my left foot. …heel made a scuffing noise.

…loss of movement in my left arm.

…tremor in my right hand/foot. …sore joint and even a bump at the sterno-clavicular joint (at the top of the sternum where the clavicle connects to it).

…right leg resting tremor, which got worse with stress…whole right side is affected, hand writing is weird sometimes, thinking it’s not so straight, and I limp a bit

…micrographia (tiny, undecipherable writing).

…the movement of my fingers on my right hand. I couldn’t wiggle them. Then I started noticing my back would ache, especially if I was tired.

…lack of coordination with my left side and falling – then tremor in my left hand.

…tremor in left hand; rigidity; terrible handwriting

A heartfelt thank you to all who contributed!
Journeying with you ~

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Comments

  1. robert says

    I came across this page and though you all might be able to help answer things for me. For several years I have been dealing with, what feels like tremors inside, on my right side. Weakness and shakes in my right hand and arm. When I get stressed it all gets much worse. I have problems turning pages in a book with my right hand. My fingers seem to miss the pages several times before I can turn them. Opening bottles with my right hand are becoming more difficult. I’m getting weakness in my right hand, with twitching of my fingers. This last week it has been very hard for me to stand and walk, I wear out really fast. When driving my right arm jerks around. I stumble when I walk a lot also, as well as balance issues.
    I have had mri, CT, ekg, eeg, x-rays, and blood work done with them all coming back clean, with no reason of my symptoms.
    My question is does any of this sound like PD? The doctors and neurologists have no clue what’s going on.

    Thanks

  2. Brenna says

    Hi,
    I am currently experiencing all kinds of neurological problems. And cardio problems.
    At first they thought MS…then when MRI said no lesions.they act like they think I am exagerating and crazy. I am about to cry because I just want someone to help me !
    I dont know what is wrong but I dont feel confident in the care that I am receiving. I made a list of all of the scary symptoms . The dr told me if I had a whole list then I was over reacting.i told her I wanted to find out what is causing all this and we talked a while, then she said ” I dont know how far you want to take this” like I was making it up. I was so hurt and angry I couldnt speak.
    I am 45 years old.i do have anxiety issues, but I think I know myself and my body well enough at this point to know what is normal and what is caused by my anxiety and what is physical in nature.
    I have over the last 2 years developed burning pain and numbness in my toes and feet, excruciating pain in my legs and feet, electric like pin sticks in my legs and other parts of my body, tremor of my hands , head and recently body, weird vibrating feeling in my whole body but mot visible to others, ive started biting my tongue in my sleep so hard that I yell and wake myself up…all kinds of things. But my BP is sky high and just had a irregular stress test so I have to have another one. I also didnt show any leg reflexes but dr wrote that off as me being tense.
    I just feel like I am not being taken seriously amd my health is at stake !!
    Do you have any suggestions?

  3. Terrance Jostes says

    Hi my name is Terry andI have some questions.
    I am right handed and have resting tremors in rt hand, I sometimes freeze and startin to drool at times. I noticed that when I am grabbing something I shake more and when I get nervous I shake alot as well. I had freezing episodes and now starting to get pain in my lower part of my neck. I have problems taking care of myself, I am 45 yrs old. And noticed that when I drive my lower rt leg and foot shake bad too. I do noticed that when I am sitting down and hand is at rest it does shake but I started rollin my index finger with the tip of my thumb and my tremors wld stop but when I stop doin that it wld shake again. Am I too young to have Parkinson’s Disease? I get depressed and cry cause sometimes I cannot deal with it, I cannot hold a pen or fork or even spoon without shaking. I have cut myself many times shaving. Just need some clarification on this.
    Thank you Terry

    • says

      Hi Terry –
      Your symptoms do closely mimic PD, however it could be something else,as there are several diseases with like symptoms. I was diagnosed at 42 (PD), with a misdiagnosis at 32 of Lupus. It took ten years before an expert neuro got it right and once you get in and a correct diagnosis is made there is much they can do to improve your quality of life. My advice would be to make an appt. yesterday and get on this now. Don’t suffer if you don’t have to. 45 is young, but it doesn’t have to be the end. Do you mind me asking what state and city if you don’t mind sharing (I won’t post it) – I can find out if there is a good neurologist near you.
      Hang in there – you’re not in this alone –
      Sherri

  4. Mari says

    I have had strange symptoms for several years, I was told I could have MS, but settled with Fibromyalgia. The past couple years, new symptoms have appeared: Chronic fatique, when I get stressed badly, while driving my right leg shakes badly. I can’t hardly drive. Also, I noticed it shaking when I drove a long time. I have a pain in my shoulder, which feels like I tore a muscle in my upper arm. cramping in feet, Could it be PD?

    • says

      hi Mari – sorry to take so long getting back to you. It definitely could be – your story mimics mine closely. I’d see a neurologist and don’t stop until your satisfied the right diagnosis has been made. Mine took 10 yrs. until I found a neurologist that was an expert in his field.

  5. Venu V says

    I have pulsating feelings in most of my body from last 6 months, fatigue, dizzyness.
    Recently I feel my left hand shaking and pulsating. Could this be PD? I am 30

    • says

      Hi-
      What you are experiencing is not a classic list of PD symptoms, but then again, there is no ‘classic’ list! :) My advice would be to see your doctor and if they don’t do/say what gives you answers and/or a correct diagnosis, keep on until you get the answers you need to be at peace with what’s happening. Sorry I couldn’t do more.

      Stay in touch-
      Sherri

  6. maria g says

    I was just watching MJFox on Letterman and he talked about the pinkie tremors and I’ve been having tremors for the last 2 years on my left pinkie, I have to shake and shake my hand to stop them, I have difficult to sleep, I’ve been depressed for no reason for the same time and get dizzy for time to time. At night when I’m resting in bed my right leg shakes 2 o 3 times. I’m going to the doctor to see if it’s just stress or something more.

  7. Maria says

    Hello

    I just wanted to ask 2 questions which I can’t really find out/understand –
    first one is – has anyone or do you know of anyone who’s symptoms started in their foot ? and secondly genetics (this is the bit I can’t understand) if a male grandparent had PD on mothers side what are the chances of grandaughter getting it.

    Any pointers will be grately welcomed.

    • says

      Hi Maria –
      To address your first question, PD can start anywhere – with depression, fatigue, tremors on either side and/or more. It is not picky. Regarding the genetics question, I don’t know but I’ll see what I can find out and get back to you. ‘Til then, hang in there.
      Sherri

    • says

      Maria – Here is some info to start re: genetics and PD…

      If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) you might ask: “How did I get it? Did I inherit it? Can my kids inherit it?” For the longest time, scientists did not believe that you could inherit PD, but new studies of PD genetics are forcing a shift to a more nuanced position.

      The consensus position appears to be that for most people with PD, there is a genetic vulnerability to acquiring the disease. When that genetic vulnerability is combined with exposure to some environmental trigger, the chances for acquiring the disease increase substantially. The genetic contribution is stronger in cases of early-onset PD.

      Studies show that first-degree relatives of people with PD are twice as likely to develop PD than relatives of people without the disease. Male relatives, in particular, seem to have twice the risk as female relatives. While some who these families must have been exposed to some environmental hazard or pathogen, many other scientists claim that these facts point to a genetic contribution to PD.

      Indeed, the search for genetic mutations that increase risk for the disease has turned up some significant findings. At present, mutations in at least 5 genes have been firmly associated with Parkinsonism: (a) α-synuclein [SNCA or PARK1], (b) parkin [PRKN or PARK2], (c) DJ-1 [DJ1 or PARK7], (d) PTEN-induced putative kinase I [PINK1 or PARK6], and (e) leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 or dardarin [LRRK2 or PARK8].

      If you or someone in your family has one of these genetic mutations, it does NOT mean that you are going to get PD. It simply means that you’re at risk of getting PD — IF you are exposed to a triggering event. A triggering event can be exposure to a toxic chemical, a head injury or perhaps a pathogen that you breathe in.

      Another source I looked at said genetics weren’t believed to play a part in PD, but is now believed to be able to have a significant role as stated in the info above.

      Hope that helps.

      • Maria says

        Thank you Sherri for getting back to me on this, I had to laugh when you said PD is not pickey ! I was just curious as what I’ve read so far always mentions it starts in the hand and then spreads to the foot ect.

        I will be back in touch soon, until then I would like to wish you and all on here a Happy Christmas.

  8. Chris says

    Hey Sherri,

    Happened to find this page and just looking for some advice. My father, who had rapidly progressing PD, passed away last May at 54 y.o. I moved to Upstate NY from Southern California and have found since then that, when I get extremely angry or upset I start having tremors in my right arm (only notice this when there is a confrontation with my brother……no other times at this point). I am always fatigued, but figure this may be cause I am sleeping on the floor as I have no bed and I do have many stresses in my life (my mother hasn’t been right since my father and her mother passed; being unemployed continuously here in NY). Is this something I should be concerned about? I have no doctor here in NY so haven’t been able to investigate it further.

    • says

      Hi Chris –
      First let me say thank you for your trust and you are not alone in this. Also, if you have no neurologist in NY, let me know as that is where my dr. is from and I’m sure he could recommend someone good. RE: tremors when angry – tremors in PD are made worse by stress for sure. However, since you don’t know if it’s PD for sure, let’s not jump there. Find out if you qualify for help. You are under a lot of strain – unemployment, weariness, tired out, concern for your mom, frustration with your brother. Do you have anyone on your team? A good friend? Family member? PD can pop up in the genetics but is not necessarily known to be hereditary. Let me know what happens and feel free to get in touch with me whenever.
      Journeying with you-
      Sherri

      • Chris says

        Hi Sherrie,
        I went to see the neurologist and he disagree’s with my doctor and thinks it is Essential Tremor (I have never heard of it till now) I am being sent an appointment to have a brain scan and have been given beta blockers as apparently they are the best drugs for ET. I have another appointment in 4 month’s to see the neurologist again, but this time the appointment will be closer to home with a different neurologist, which I’m glad about as it will be a sort of second opinion.

        Cheers and kind regards,
        Chris (london)

  9. Chris says

    Hi Sherri, I’m Chris from London England, 55yo, male.
    I was being treated for Spondylosis, back worn out lol and frozen shoulder for around a year or so. I cant walk that far as my legs ache and also my back. I have worked in the construction industry all my life and found it impossible to work, yet the authorities said THERE MUST BE SOMETHING i COULD DO AND TOOK MY SICK PAY AWAY.
    Anyway things have become steadily worse. I went to see my doctor around 6 months ago and she examined me and said I have Parkinson’s but would need to see a neurologist to confirm before I can have any treatment.
    I heard nothing regarding a referal so went back to see my doctor on 12 of sept 2012 and she said she would refer me again. Again I heard nothing so phoned the neurology dept at my local hospital and they said I did have an appointment and it was on 6 Dec 2012 and said they had’nt sent a letter to me yet !
    My shacking has got steadily worse and is now in both my hands and not just the left.
    I walk with a stoop and trip easily.
    My arms do not swing,
    I have pain in my muscles in my back, shoulders, neck and legs and I get bad cramps in my right leg.
    I am getting only 4-5 hrs sleep at night yet I am constantly tired and it’s an effort to push myself to do anything. It is really uncomfortable to turn over in bed.
    Apart from that I’m pretty healthy lol lol.
    A couple of weeks ago I was really bad and sort of seized up and was shacking uncontrollably all over. I was lucky my Daughter was with me as we were shopping down town when it happened and she got her car and drove me home. She phoned the neurology dept and said Dad was getting worse and could they see me before the 6 December, they said they would put a note on their computer and get back to her.
    I finally recieved a letter from the neurology dept yesterday (27 Nov 2012) saying, would you believe ? that they were sorry but the neurologist I was to see, was suffering ill health and they would have to put my appointment back to the 21st of JAN 2012!!!
    So in all I have been waiting for around6 months to be seen by a neurologist, have got to wait nearly another couple of months which of course makes 8 months to be seen after initial diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Believe me, this treatment is not unusual in the UK and I have lots of family members who have had shall we say ? not the best care in the world.
    In the UK, if a person goe’s to the accident and emergencu dept of a hospital they have to treat you. I read in the newspaper the other day that the local A&E dept of our hospital had a 47% rise in the amount of people going there for treatment. I believe this is due to people not getting treatment from specialists and doctors soon enough to relieve their symtons, so they think ohh sod it, I’ll go to A&E and get treated quicker.
    I’m in a predicament Sherri, I am not well enough to work but have to wait to see a specialist for confirmation, before I can recieve any sickness benefit and I am now broke !
    I’ll keep you posted Sherri, sorry to rant on and thank you for being so understanding to all posters here. Kind regards,
    Chris.

    • says

      Hi Chris –
      sorry to have taken so long in responding. You certainly sound like you’re dealing with PD and I hope they can get to see you soon, I am thankful for the care I have received and don’t take one bit of it for granted. Press on and let me know what happens.
      Journeying with you,
      Sherri

      • Chris says

        Thank,s for responding Sherri, i Will let you know what happens and I wish all on here a great christmass , and happy new yea\r. may your God be be with you. Trust in our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

          • Chris says

            Hi Sherrie, just a quick update.
            Can you believe the appointment I had on 21st of Jan was cancelled, been waiting to see a neuro for getting on for 5 month’s now but got good news yesterday 10 Jan after my Daughter made a series of complaint’s.
            I recieved a phone call from a different hospital 20 miles away (dont mind that) and they offered to let me have a cancelation to have assessment tommorow Sat 13 Jan. Happy New Year again, regards
            Chris (London)

  10. Britt says

    Hello Sherri,

    This is a wonderful post and was excited to find it. I have been blessed with numerous illnesses from different forms of arthritis, gout, CEBV, scoliolis, CFS … I’m not going to get into massive detail. But a concern of mine (just curious of your opinion) is that I began with a pain in my hand it seemed to mimic carpul tunnel where the pain would shoot up my arm, along with pain and cramping. It got to the point that it now consumed my whole arm in pain to my chest … it seems to be thoracic outlet syndrome. I do get twitches and tremors…I have not injured it (that I know). But my other symptoms are facial tremors: eye lids, cheeks, chin and I have had this for about 10 years on and off along with tremors in my right leg and arm…it’s not severe but it is concerning to me. I have had torticollis which has left a ratchet feeling in my neck and a slant. I also have a ratchet feeling in my arm and loss of ROM. I also can not twist my back very well especially in the mornings. I do have a cousin that has PD. But I’ve noticed my above symptoms have worsened over the last 6 months along with my exhaustion and I have noticed a difference in my voice and speech is slurred at times or babble comes out…I used to be able to sing and now that has declined, thought process gone due to the pain and exhaustion. I also fine myself also choking because it feels as though my throat didn’t do what it was supposed to. I noticed these symptoms worsened when I began treatment for the gout and I have read that in some cases the access uric acid suppresses PD symptoms and once treatment begin for the gout the PD begins peaking out. Have you heard this?

    I am concerned because the pain/tremors in my arm are beginning to be seen in my right leg and foot. What is your opinion of this? PS I have a neurology appt on Jan 2nd. :) Previously when I went to the neurologist they said my brain scan mri was okay no signs of anything (this has been about 5 years ago). Also, sometimes atleast once a week I feel as though my upper body is being pulled in different directions and at times my leg doesn’t take a step when I am walking (it’s like my leg didn’t get the memo…lol). Any ideas or resources would be great.

    I also read that torticollis is just a symptom and when I googled it all I found in relation was PD. But I was wondering if having Gout suppressed it? I have MTHFR also which is hereditary and it is a deficiency in B12, Folic acid and B6 (inability to absorb it). So I was placed on Methylb12, methylfolate and b6 so I could easily absorb (keep following me…lol). Now the methylb12 began treating my gout by assisting in sifting out the uric acid out of my liver/system and that is when I began noticing the symptoms of PD. That is crazy. (My kind of luck.) So what are your thoughts on that? LOL!

    PS sorry about the book…lol. Sad part is I know I’m forgetting something. :)

    • says

      My reply? WOW!!! I would see the neurologist and get his/her take on it. Maybe start fresh on everything? Some of the symptoms definitely do mimic PD and some I’m not familiar with, but anything is possible and it could be one of other conditions you’re dealing with. I admire your upbeat attitude when you’re obviously dealing with a lot on your plate. I’m curious to hear what the neurologist says. Keep in touch.

  11. Mohammad Iqbal says

    For the last four months I have tremors in the thumb of my left foot. It disappears during sleep and when I am calmly reading a book. It increases when I am writing something, cutting fruit, selecting something to purchase from a shop, using keyboard, talking emotionally etc. Only thumb of left foot is trembles even if I am writing with hand. Other, perhaps, related things I notice is the weaker grip of my left foot thumb and connected finger compared to right foot if I try to hold anything with them. I also have cramps in my left foot and calf . I also feel reduced sensation or a different sensation in both feet not exactly numbness or tingling . Sometimes I wake up at night and feel like stretching arms, legs, and entire body which gives me relief but does not satisfy my feeling and body wants me to keep stretching. Do you think it is the early stage of parkinsonism? My age is 61. Can you suggest some remedies and/or tips to cure my aliment?? Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
    Best wishes for you.
    Mohammad Iqbal
    Karachi – Pakistan

    • says

      Hi –
      Thanks for writing… Unfortunately, I am not a doctor so my diagnosis is not going to help you, except to say — If I were you, I’d go and see a neurologist. If you have a regular doctor and need a referral, they can most likely give you one. From what you said, your symptoms sound similar to so many things that mimic Parkinson’s and other diseases that are similar in many ways. I know that doesn’t help you much, but that is what I would do. I can’t offer a remedy but if you go to the doctor and they diagnose you with PD, I can offer support and encouragement and some tips. Good luck and keep in touch.

  12. says

    I have been seeing a Neurologist sincce Nov. 2010. My latest appt was Sept 2012. I have just started taking Requip 1mg. My doc wants to rule out RLS and I am wondering if these tremors, constant tiredness, right shoulder and neck pain, lack of arm swing, muscle pain and apathy may be pointing
    To PD. I think the Neurologist is on the same page. I have read several blogs and this site has been especially helpful.

    • says

      Hi Robert –
      Thanks for writing. Your symptoms certainly do coincide with those of PD and your neurologist should be qualified to make a proper diagnosis. It’s always good to get a second opinion, but from what you’ve written, I’d say from my experience you are both on the right track. Of course, I am not a doctor so that is my personal opinion. My suggestion would be, if your neurologist is just a ‘general’ one, seek out a Movement Disorder Specialist for specific care for PD. It does make a difference. Good luck and keep in touch.

  13. Amy says

    Hey, I’m 15 years old and I have continuous shaking in my right and left hand (that’s easily noticeable) and sometimes spreads up until my elbow. I’ve been feeling very tired lately and wake up randomly during the night and early morning feeling tired. Concentrating on things can be difficult at times and I haven’t had an appetite for the past week. I’ve also been experiencing pain in my right arm. Seldomly balancing can also be a struggle. I’m not sure if I have PD and scared to approach my parents for advice. What should I do? :)

    • says

      Hi Amy —-
      I hurt for you as being in your place right now is a scary place to be. I am not sure why you are scared to approach your parents, but if you do have a good relationship with them, it would be good for you to have them on your team from the start. You need someone in your corner if you’re dealing with PD and if, for whatever reason they don’t understand or are not supportive, get a friend or another family member to be your support system. Your symptoms (and I am no doctor) are varied and mimic PD to some degree but not all. If I were you, go to your regular doctor and they should be able to run some tests to pinpoint more accurately what’s going on and/or refer you to a neurologist if needed. I am concerned about you. Can you get to a doctor? Email me if you prefer… sherriwoodbridg@hotmail.com

      Keep in touch.

  14. Cody says

    Hey, i was just searching for forward head posture and came upon this, its weird because i have like a stoop in my walk and sometimes feel off balance but never had a bad fall, i feel awkward in my left hand when doing things ,slight twitch in my arm when its a rest not a tremor and doesn’t always happen only sometimes do you think i should get myselfcheck for PD? And thanks for this page. :-)

    • says

      Hi –
      I would say, get checked. There are several diseases that mimic each other so it would be hard to say without being checked by a professional. Not sure whether to be checked? If it’s bugging you – do it. Good luck.

  15. Mary Ann McGuire says

    I give care to an 86 year old woman with PD. She often asks me to take her shoes off when she doesn’t have any on. Her feet hurt, esp. her toes. Does anyone know what causes this and how I can help her get relief ? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Mary Ann – your care-ee is very fortunate to have you as her caregiver. Cramps in the legs and toes are very common in PD and can be extremely painful, as the toes are also known to curl in mnay cases as they cramp up. Since it sounds as she is not very mobile (I could be wrong), she is perhaps not able to get up when the cramping occurs. For me, walking around helps but I get them more in my legs. However, I did some research and this is what I found:

      From http://www.buzzle.com/articles/cramps-in-feet-and-toes.html:
      Getting foot cramps at night is a most common occurrence. The moment you start experiencing foot and leg cramps, you can take some measures to release the tension from the muscles. Firstly, pull out the foot from its cramped position slowly. Do not try to do this in haste as it can intensify the leg cramp. When the foot is in a comfortable position, hold it there for few minutes in order to relax the muscles. Keeping the foot in a slightly elevated position helps to relieve cramps in feet and ankles. Then massage the cramped area by moving the fingers lightly on it. For a soothing relief from the pain and tightness, apply ice for 10 minutes by wrapping up ice cubes in a towel. A warm foot bath is another excellent foot cramp remedy.–
       

       From Lifestyle Lounge (http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/causes-of-foot-cramps-4102.html):
      -Try having a glass of lukewarm milk just before going to bed. Though easy, the remedy is very effective in treating foot cramps.
      – Having chamomile tea, 5 times a day, can help bring relief from foot cramps, in about 2 weeks.
      – Take a hot shower before going to bed, making sure to soak the feet in the water for sometime. It will surely prove effective.
      – When you lie down at night, stretch the legs as far as you can and hold the position for a few minutes. Repeat as many times as you can.
      – There is yet another exercise that proves beneficial in case of foot cramps. Stand straight, keep your heel on the floor and curl your toes upwards. Hold the position for a few minutes and repeat.
      – Red raspberry leaf tea has also proven to be good for treating foot cramps. Have a cup in the morning as well as evening.
      – Drink a concoction containing 1 tbsp calcium lactate, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp honey, in ½ glass lukewarm water, once in a day.
      – When you go to bed at night or rest in the daytime, carry a hot water bottle with you and use it to apply heat on the feet.
      – Consuming 2-3 bananas in a day as well as having 2 tsp of honey daily is another effective home remedy for foot cramps.
      – Use lavender oil, rosemary oil and eucalyptus oil to massage the affected area, once in a day.
      – You can also try pressing your toes against the wall and stretching the calf muscles, 15-20 times daily.

      Truthfully Shelley, I would go with massaging her toes and feet gently. Maybe using lotion would be nice as it allows the ‘massage’ to be smoother. I know that I have heard and do believe that a potassium increase is beneficial via eating bananas. Of course, I do not have as many as recommended abouve, but 1 a day or every other day. It seems to me to be helpful in cutting down on the requency. I hope that helps. Let me know. I’d be interested.
      Thanks for being a caregiver.
      Sherri

  16. Robert says

    I’m 19 years old and i sometimes don’t swing my right arm and i slightly shake on myhand when i hold it up, do i have PD?

    • says

      Hi Robert –
      I cannot answer your question of whether you have PD or not buy you do have a couple symptoms that tend to lean that way in terms of being checked for it. Start with your general doctor and they will most likely refer you to a neurologist if they find reason to and suspecting PD is a good reason to go to a neurologist. Stay in touch.
      Sherri

  17. kris says

    hi im kris in 20 years old about to turn 21 in november i have noticed my legs start to shack some time i dont know why but it really hurts and when i hold my legs and try to make them stop it gets worse they go faster and harder which makes it more painful wat could this be im a lil scared please help me

    • says

      Hi Kris –
      First of all, not knowing what is going on inside or with our bodies is a scary thing so your fear is natural. Leg shaking could be from many things, as well as having pain in them. It is not necessarily Parkinson’s disease. There are so many diseases that mimic one another that your best bet is to start with your regular doctor to find out their opinion and go from there. It could have something to do with a pinched nerve to any number of things which may be easy to define and treat. We all tend to think the worst and sometimes find that our conclusions are much worse than what is really going on and I hope that is the case with you. Stay in touch.
      Sherri

      • kris says

        thank you for writing back!!!! my mother in-law started me on some vitamins after i told her wat was going on tha pain had got so bad that i did not want to walk or move but for tha last 2 days i have had very lil pain its still there but i can handle it to day i was able to run wit my son in my yard i was so happy cuz be for i could not it hurt to much and when i tried my legs locked up thank god i was next to a tree that i grabbed to keep me from falling cuz i would have went face first in to concrete…

  18. safiyany says

    i have an excessive salivation problem and difficulty in swallowing and this makes me reluctant to take part in social gatherings….severe constipation, a shoulder pain or a frozen shoulder- left one, a bump in the supra clavicular region, plus a pulsating feeling through out the body,,,and chronic fatigue for more than one and a half years….drooling makes it impossible to sleep. sometimes i sleep all day and yet feel tired and sleepy
    i also had occasional shaking in my left hand’s index finger some months ago…and every one took it lightly and even said i m making it up, because my dad has pd from past 20 years. im 25 and was a very healthy and active female till last year,,,, now im so tired and dull as per my family and friends :(

    • says

      Hi –
      Sorry to be so late in responding… Sounds like you have quite a daily, moment to moment daily struggle. If there is anything I can do, please let me know. What kind of doctor are you seeing and is he helping you with these issues? please stay in touch and don’t forget that you are not alone.

  19. Steve says

    Im 26 male. I found this website by searching shaking in right hand when upset. After reading this I feel that I may need to be tested somehow for it.
    When I was 18. I worked at a plant . I had my coworker ask me one day Why do you walk like that? I said what do you mean? He said you only swing one arm WHY? after that I thought it was because my arm was stiff from hammering but, as time passed it didn’t change even after I switched jobs several times. I have bad coordination and my hand writing is something Ive struggled with,however not too small just hard to keep neat. I have a hard time walking sometimes balance has gotten worse I get dizzy and fatigue very easy. I was told that I should see a Neurologist but never told why. I worked around some nasty chemicals and thought maybe they caused the shaking in my hand. When I get mad I cant control my leg from shaking spastic ally. My foot is like thumper from bambi hehe. My hand shakes bad when I eat,and when my grandpa passed at the funeral I lost all control over it shaking and it appears to shake even more often since then. I limp and cant help it. Ive had many people ask me why. Anyway I think that’s enough. The point is the website was very helpful so thank you for posting this.

    • says

      Hi Steve –
      I am not a doctor, that is for certain. However, what I have gone through and my experience with this disease, I would say that you need to see a neurologist as soon as possible. The shaking, aka tremors, and the fact they worsen under stress, the loss of swinging in one arm, balance issues, change in handwriting, tire easily – they are all classic symptoms of PD. However, as I stated, I am not a doctor and PD can mimic other like diseases, so my recommendation is to see one as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis so they are able to treat you right away and get you feeling at your best right now. Where do you live? I may have neurologists/movement disorder specialists near you that others would recommend. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at sherriwoodbridge@hotmail.com – any time. Let me know how it goes.
      Sherri Woodbridge

    • says

      my name is michelle. i started having problems 8 years ago with my balance in the grocery store . i had to hold onto the grocery cart. tremors followed and twitching of my fingers. i had pain that came and went for 4years. then came and has stayed since. i have endored severe pain sohavebad that i

      • says

        H ave contemplated killing myself. i have seen several doctors latelybut they send me to see other doctors.i didnt have insurance for 4 years. so i seen a pain doctor which prescribed me methdone for pain. i currently am waiting for a right diagnosis and my family doesnt understand how much pain i am in all the time. the tremors have worsened quite

        • Roxy says

          Please don’t. The frustration might seem unbearable but please fing the strength to hang on. Nothing is certain in this world except change. This too shall pass.

  20. says

    I was diagnosed officially about a year ago but had been having the symptoms about a year before that. I am so fatigued all the time. My right arm and right leg hurt and I have the inside and outside tremors. My right index finger and thumb. I also have deep depression. I am on a low dose of dopamine. The doctor has upped it once. I watched my mom suffer for 20 years with Parkinson’s before her death. I dread the outcome for myself and my family. I was just wondering if the pain in the right arm and leg went with the progress.

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