In Parkinson’s rigidity is often most noticeable when you move a joint through a circular movement. The movement often feels as if the joint is moving through a number of cogs, known as ‘cogwheel rigidity’.
Some people also experience a constant resistance to motion throughout the entire range of movement, known as ‘lead pipe rigidity’.
Parkinson’s and Rigidity
Rigidity can stop muscles from stretching and relaxing. It can cause:
- Stiff muscles
- Inflexible muscles
- Pain and muscle cramps
- Fixed ‘mask-like’ facial expression
- Inability to swing arm or arms when walking
- Difficulties getting out of chairs, turning over in bed and turning around
- Difficulties with fine movements such as writing or doing up buttons
- Postural change
I spoke to a PwP who said, “I have PD induced COPD and PD induced restrictive lung disease..(rigid diaphragms and chest wall muscles.) PD is suffocating me at 43% vital capacity as my lungs collapse.”