What is the link between Parkinson’s disease and weakness in the legs?

Parkinson et faiblesse dans les jambes : quel est le lien ?

Among the many symptoms that reveal Parkinson’s disease, one must particularly count pain, but also weakness in the legs. These symptoms greatly impact the quality of life of patients. But fortunately, there are many solutions to relieve them and allow patients to regain a better well-being. What are the causes and symptoms of this disease? How can it be relieved? Get the answers to these questions in this article.

What causes leg weakness in Parkinson’s disease?

The leg weakness experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease is similar to a feeling of heavy legs. Unfortunately, this weakness also extends to the upper limbs such as the extensor muscles, the trunk muscles and even the elbow muscles. The causes of this disease are related to dopaminergic deficits in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. The health professional James Parkinson was the first to name this neurodegenerative pathology “the shaking palsy”.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and weakness in the legs?

People with Parkinson’s disease experience severe pain in their legs, but also great weakness in their legs. Most of the time, these pains are expressed by tremors, which intensify at night and in the morning. They suffer from four types of pain related to the legs. These are :

  • Central pain: the patient experiences constant pain followed by sharp but occasional flare-ups. Touch and cold tend to exacerbate it. In addition, this pain tends to begin on the side where the other symptoms of the disease begin;
  • Dystonia: these are muscle contractions that cause unilateral pain in the legs. It is related to the use of levodopa in the treatment of the signs of Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, it should be noted that this pain appears much more in the morning and is followed by foot deformation (abnormal posture, claw ear);
  • Musculoskeletal pain: it is due to low mobility, rigidity and abnormal posture. Musculoskeletal pain can be localized or spread throughout the leg. It is also known to be triggered suddenly;
  • Radicular pain: it is caused by a compression of the nerves in the lumbar area. Radicular pain causes weakness, tingling, numbness, but also loss of reflexes in the buttocks, legs and feet.

For a quick and efficient treatment, it is recommended to refer to your doctor as soon as possible or to a health professional.

What treatment for Parkinson’s symptoms and leg weakness?

Faiblesse des jambes lors de la maladie de Parkinson

The treatment of the pathology requires defining the type of pain that the patient feels. With this in mind, the following treatments are available:

  • Central pain: antiparkinsonian drugs, including azilect, deep tissue massage therapy, physical therapy and the use of warm water (hydrotherapy) are recommended as solutions;
  • Dystonia: if pain is related to levodopa use, it is advisable to identify when it is occurring in order to adjust the dose.

There are many treatments to relieve weakness in the legs such as injections and muscle relaxants. It is also possible to implement strategies such as yoga and tai chi to relieve symptoms. Whatever the circumstances, it is advisable to refer to a health care professional.

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