Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system (movement disorder) that causes tremors (shaking,) rigid muscles, and imprecise movements. It affects middle aged to elderly people, and is seen in approximately 13 out of 100,000 people. Although many parts of the body are affected, podiatrists focus on care for the feet in patients with Parkinson’s.
How are the feet affected in Parkinson’s Disease?
Stiffness: Stiff or cramped muscles can change the way that pressure is distributed across the bottom of your feet. Often a very flat foot develops, and a “shuffling” walking pattern is seen. In areas dealing with increased pressure, calluses develop that can become painful over time.
Dystonia: Dystonia in itself is a movement disorder that is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow repetitive actions. Parkinson’s patients frequently have dystonia. Some of the symptoms you may see are a big toe that is higher than the rest of the toes, little toes that appear claw like, and an inwardly twisted ankle.
Swelling: Also known as edema, swelling in the legs and feet is often seen. This happens more in people who don’t move as much or move very slowly.
Toe Walking: If a patient with Parkinson’s has a tight Achilles tendon, you may notice that they walk on their toes.
What can my doctor at Advanced Foot Care Centers do for my feet if I have Parkinson’s Disease?
Our podiatrists at Advanced Foot Care Centers are able to help! There are a number of things that can be tried to help decrease symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease in the feet including orthotics, braces, specialized exercises, and nail care. Call us today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Wilkins (423) 702 – 6453.