Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Parkinson's Disease and Freezing

Parkinson's Disease and Freezing

Overview

In Parkinson's disease, freezing is a sudden, brief inability to start movement or to continue rhythmic, repeated movements, such as finger-tapping, writing, or walking. Freezing most often affects walking. But it also can affect speech, writing, and your ability to open and close your eyes. It tends to develop later in the course of the disease.

Freezing can be very disabling when it affects the way you walk. It can cause you to stop as though your feet suddenly have become glued to the floor. It can result in falls that cause serious injury, such as a hip fracture. Freezing may occur at an open doorway, at a line on the floor, or when you turn around. It may be more likely to occur if you are under stress or in a crowd.

What can help you get unfrozen?

There are several tricks you can learn to help you become "unfrozen" when you have a freezing episode from Parkinson's disease.

  • Step toward a specific target on the ground.

    Some people use handheld laser pointers to create a target.

  • Place a cane or walking stick on the floor in front of you and then step over it.

    You can also have someone else place it in front of you.

  • Make your first step a precise, stiff-legged, marching-type step, with a long stride.

These or other techniques may help you overcome freezing and get moving again. Physical therapy, specially trained dogs, and special devices can help you if freezing is a severe or frequent problem.

What medicines are used to treat freezing?

Apomorphine is a fast-acting dopamine agonist that can be helpful in treating freezing. It can be injected under the skin or used as a film that dissolves under your tongue.

Changing the levodopa dosage may improve freezing. Or you may try an inhaled levodopa. If you're taking other medicines, their doses may also be changed.

Physical therapy may help you improve your walking and reduce your risk of falling. It may also help you know if certain motions cause freezing and help you avoid them.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Parkinson's Disease

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details