Freezing of Gait
Gait freezing is when your feet get “stuck” or feel “glued” to the floor. Gait freezing may be a problem if:
- You have trouble turning in small rooms such as the kitchen, closet, bathroom, or around corners.
- Your foot ‘sticks’ to the floor or will not move when trying to sit in a chair, after standing up from a chair, when beginning to walk or when changing directions.
- You have difficulty walking through doorways, on and off carpets or over changes in floor surface, in cluttered rooms, in rooms with busy wallpaper or clutter, in low lit areas or when the floor is too shiny.
- Your feet ‘freeze’ when you get anxious, nervous, or feel like you need to ’perform’ quickly.
Many factors can affect your walking, balance and tendency to freeze. Your medications, environment, posture, stamina and strength, energy levels, anxiety, blood pressure problems, dizziness or vertigo, heart and lung function, joint conditions, choice of footwear, circulation and sensations in your legs and feet are just a few of the areas you and your healthcare provider can work on to improve health, walking and balance.
Don’t wait for your doctor to suggest physical therapy. Be proactive. Ask for a physical therapy referral. If you are having trouble keeping up with earlier exercise recommendations, talk with your doctor and return to PT for a re-evaluation. If you are noticing new symptoms, ask for a referral again!
Author: Monique Giroux, MD
Copyright 2011 Northwest Parkinson's Foundation Wellness Center,