Rigidity (Stiffness)

 

Rigidity, while seldom the main symptom early in Parkinson’s, is experienced as a stiffness of the arms or legs beyond what would result from normal aging or arthritis. Some people call it “tightness” in their limbs. Stiffness can occur on one or both sides of the body and contribute to a decreased range of motion. This can lead to problems with achiness or pain in the muscles or joints affected.

Many people with PD will have a reduced arm swing when walking, more so on the most affected side. Rigidity of the trunk is also possible, as is stiffness of the facial muscles, which contributes to facial masking.

Rigidity can also negatively impact sleep quality. Stiffness in the late evening and poor mobility in bed can make it hard to fall and stay asleep at night.

Rigidity is one of three telltale symptoms that help doctors make a Parkinson’s diagnosis. The other two are slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and tremor.

X
 

Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter

Get the latest news about PD research, resources and community initiatives – straight to your inbox.

Please enter a valid email

Skip step



Invalid year format. Eg: 2020
Skip step
Skip step


*Please note that not all content is available in both languages. If you are interested in receiving Spanish communications, we recommend selecting “both" to stay best informed on the Foundation's work and the latest in PD news.

Skip step

Thanks for Signing Up

We are proud to have you as a part of our community. To ensure you receive the latest Parkinson’s news, research updates and more, please check your email for a message from us. If you do not see our email, it may be in your spam folder. Just mark as “not spam” and you should receive our emails as expected.

mail icon

Subscribe here to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.