– Getting Started Walking (Akinesia)

We previously learned that Akinesia is defined as the loss or impairment of voluntary movement. You may have experienced or witnessed a person with PD who is standing, wants to move, but cannot get started. They know they want to take a step and start walking but cannot get their feet moving. They often describe this to us as “it feels like my feet are glued to the floor.”
Through research, experimentation, and learning from people with PD, we have a few techniques we use to help a person get started. Here are a few interventions you can try:

Target Practice: Yes, we call this technique target practice. Place something on the floor in front of the person with PD. In our sessions, we use agility dots, but you can use any number of things, i.e., an agility dot or a piece of tape.

The use of a target activates the visual system and helps to unglue the foot and take the first step. Many times, all it takes is one target and then they are moving.

In the video below, take special notice of the difference in how our client walks WITHOUT targets vs. WITH targets. This first video shows a dramatic improvement WITH targets.

Recorded at a workshop in Denver. April 14, 2018

While I don’t have “before” video to share, I can assure you that targets increased Greg’s stride length by about 300%

Notice that Maricela is walking by herself at the end of the video – using targets. When she arrives at this workshop in Monterrey, Mexico in August, 2018, she was not able to walk without assistance. The combination of Naboso insoles and targets get her moving solo

Our client in this video suffers with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). She is unable to walk without assistance, however – when I hold her hands, she can stand and walk with very tiny steps (1-2 inches per step). Using agility dots at targets, she is able to increase her stride length. Great practice so we keep her moving.