Parkinson’s entails symptoms of many types – motor and non – motor. However, not every symptom affects every PwP, & the intensity of symptoms varies across individuals. Following is an overview of the symptoms, followed by a brief description of each symptom, as well as, methods to manage those symptoms.
When symptoms of Parkinson’s start manifesting, they may be very mild initially and many a times they go unnoticed by the patients and their relatives.
The basic symptoms in Parkinson’s are; tremor (trembling or shaking), stiffness, slowness of movement and difficulty in maintaining posture and balance. These are called as the motor symptoms.
A diagnosis of Parkinson’s is usually made when a person presents with either one or more of the above mentioned symptoms. As mentioned earlier, Parkinson’s tends to affect each person in a different way. For example, some people may predominantly have tremor as their major symptom, whereas others may have problems with balance and walking.
In addition to motor symptoms, Parkinson’s can result in other types of symptoms in varying degrees, and these are known as non – motor symptoms. Symptoms like depression, anxiety, slow bowel movements, sleep disturbances, pain & a few others constitute non – motor symptoms. In fact, these are now recognized by researchers, as early signs of Parkinson’s, and are also believed to precede the motor symptoms.
As a result of these motor and non motor symptoms, the daily activities and routine for a person with Parkinson’s can get affected. Additionally, it is often seen that symptoms in Parkinson’s can change from day to day and sometimes even from hour to hour.
Since Parkinson’s is progressive in nature, the rate of progression of it and the distribution of symptoms vary from individual to individual. Symptoms often begin on one side of the body and may slowly progress to the other side.
To manage these symptoms, medications are available that may help bring some of the symptoms under control. Additionally, exercise enhances the effects of the medication and works to maintain muscle agility. Both these together, greatly improve the quality of one’s daily life.
Exercises can reduce stiffness and improve mobility, posture, balance and help overcome problems related to balance and walking. It greatly improves the quality of one’s daily life with its direct impact on certain symptoms like stiffness and slowness.