How to Motivate that Lazy Leg

Question:

Can you recommend any techniques to improve my walking? At present I tend to drag my right leg. If I go for a walk I am OK after about half a mile. I tend to drag my leg on short runs and around the house

John

Response:

First, consider doing Tai Chi on a regular basis. It is a good idea to connect with a teacher who is proficient. There are excellent DVDs on Tai Chi that also extremely helpful if accessed on a regular basis.

Arieh Breslow in particular has produced an outstanding DVD – When Less is More – that is mindful of the mobility challenges that confront individuals who currently experience the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Second, I have a suggestion offered by professional dancer Pamela Quinn during my radio show interview with her on September 30, 2010. You can hear the show by visiting the Parkinsons Recovery Radio Show Network Page at:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery

The entire show is worth  hearing from start to end. Pamela offers a number of suggestions to persons with mobility challenges. She suggested that you practice kicking a soccer ball using the leg that drags. It helps to wake up that lazy leg.

You obviously do not want to kick a soccer ball while going to work or doing errands. Instead – you simply pretend that you are kicking the soccer ball as you walk from one place to the next.  It works just as well as if you were actually kicking it.

Third, try bouncing a ball as you walk – just as you did when you were a boy.  Your foot is dragging because your body is navigating through neural pathways that are dysfunctional. When you bounce a ball while you walk – you create new neural networks. This short circuits the old pathways that are presently hindering that lazy leg’s functionality.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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