Parkinson’s disease (PD) can change the way a person walks. Movement Symptoms like stiff muscles, rigidity and slow movement make it harder to take normal steps. In fact, short, shuffling steps are a common sign of PD, as is freezing, the feeling that your feet are stuck to the floor, for people with mid-stage to advanced PD.
Freezing, where one or both legs become literally stuck to the floor, can often result in falls. This makes the treatment of freezing a critical part of managing Parkinson’s disease. One of the most mysterious and scientifically elusive features of Parkinson’s has been the ability to break freezing episodes with what has been referred to as “cueing”. You may have witnessed this phenomenon in the 1990 movie Awakenings, featuring Robin Williams. The movie showed several cueing strategies, including a checkerboard floor.