What to Know About Parkinson’s and Freezing

What to Know About Parkinson’s and Freezing
What to Know About Parkinson’s and Freezing

When you suddenly become immobile for a few minutes or seconds, it's called freezing. It could happen in the middle to end phases of Parkinson's disease. Some methods might assist you in overcoming freezing, while other drugs might shield you from it.

In the medium to late stages of Parkinson's disease, freezing is a common symptom. It occurs when you momentarily and unexpectedly become immobile.

Although freezing can occur during a variety of motions, it is more likely to occur during walking, which raises the possibility of a fall.

Learn why freezing happens and how to prevent it by reading on.

What is freezing in Parkinson’s disease?

Freezing is the inability to move despite trying. For a few moments or minutes, your body feels immobile.

Freezing can occur in a variety of motions, including standing up, turning around, and speaking. Walking frequently causes what medical experts refer to as "freezing of gait."

According to a research evaluation published in 2021 that included 66 papers, 51% of 9,072 Parkinson's patients had frozen gait. Approximately 38% of those with early-stage Parkinson's disease and 65% of those with advanced-stage Parkinson's disease were impacted.

According to the findings of a small 2018 study, falls in Parkinson's disease patients may be mostly caused by freezing of gait.

Why does Parkinson’s disease cause freezing?

It's unclear why some patients with Parkinson's disease experience freezing.

Planning, starting, and carrying out voluntary movement is a complex process involving numerous brain regions and connections, according to the authors of a 2020 review. Parkinson's disease may impair these networks' neurons' ability to communicate with one another, which could result in freezing.

In a similar vein, freezing may be indirectly related to cognitive decline. According to the authors of a 2017 study involving 186 Parkinson's patients, individuals who had a freezing gait were more likely to score lower on tests of different brain processes.

What can trigger a freezing episode in Parkinson’s disease?

A freezing episode can start with almost any movement. However, different triggers may work for different people.

Among the many causes of freezing that Parkinson's patients frequently mention are:
  • New movements: When you have to start moving, like getting out of bed, standing up, or taking a step forward, you could pause or freeze.
  • Transitions between spaces: It is possible that you experience difficulty transitioning from one physical location to another, such as crossing a street, going through doors, or navigating past obstacles.
  • Repetitive movements: You might freeze if you write, chew, or tap your foot, for example.
Additional elements that may cause freezing include:
  • feeling stressed or hurried
  • being in confined areas or busy settings
  • multitasking

How can you overcome a freezing episode in Parkinson’s disease?

Should you encounter freezing, you could want to speak with a medical expert. In the case that freezing does occur, they can recommend methods and remedies to keep you from becoming hurt.

The following are some methods that can assist with freezing:
  • Learn more about your triggers: This enables you to get ready for potential freezing moments. If specific triggers, such as crowded areas, pose an increased risk, think about avoiding them.
  • Remain calm: Inhale deeply, then turn your attention to moving.
  • Try a different movement: A fresh motion can occasionally break through a cold period. Examples of these movements include clapping your hands, marching in place, or swaying back and forth.
  • Use auditory cues: Many Parkinson's patients discover that getting started is facilitated by sticking to a rhythm. You can move in time with the beat by counting in rhythm, using a metronome, or singing in your thoughts.
  • Use visual cues: Another way to lessen freezing moments is with visual clues. Some people use a laser pointer to project a dot they can walk over or tape lines at triggering locations on the floor of their homes.
  • Use visualization: You could start by closing your eyes and imagining yourself moving in the manner that you want.
  • Talk yourself through the movement: For some Parkinson's patients, staying mobile is made possible by verbalising or mentally outlining their actions.

What treatments can help with Parkinson’s freezing?

Some people may freeze more frequently as their Parkinson's medicine wears out. Your doctor might advise changing your medication if such is the case.

Other therapies for Parkinson's-related freezing include:
  • Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy entails modifying your daily routine and learning coping mechanisms to make freezing easier to handle.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can offer recommendations for an exercise regimen that will help you prevent falls by enhancing your posture, balance, and muscle strength.
  • Deep brain stimulation: Implanting a device is a relatively recent surgical treatment for Parkinson's disease. It may be helpful for certain symptoms, such as freezing, but not all patients can benefit from it.
  • Walking aids: Using a walker can keep you safe when other methods fail to keep you from freezing.


How common is freezing in Parkinson's?

Freezing episodes affect about one-third of Parkinson's disease patients.

What is freezing in Parkinson's disease called?

Freezing of gait (FoG)

Can Parkinson's recover?

Although there isn't a cure for Parkinson's disease at this time, there are therapies that can help manage symptoms and preserve quality of life. Physiotherapy and other supportive therapies are some of these treatments.


One common sign of Parkinson's illness is freezing. Even though it occurs more frequently as Parkinson's disease advances, it can occur at any point.

When walking, many Parkinson's patients become motionless. You may feel as though your feet are immobile and are keeping you from moving ahead.

When experiencing a frozen episode, you can get advice and strategies from an occupational or physical therapist. Deep brain stimulation and medication changes are two other methods of treating freezing.

Post a Comment