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Rigidity in Parkinson's

Man with Parkinson's outside

Rigidity - meaning stiff or inflexible muscles - is one of the main symptoms of Parkinson's, alongside tremor and slowness of movement. Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms.

If you are concerned about rigidity please see your GP, specialist or Parkinson's nurse.

How can rigidity affect people with Parkinson's?

Rigidity can stop muscles from stretching and relaxing. It can cause:

I tend to get muscle cramps and rigidity worse in the morning. And when I wake up my movements are very limited.

  • stiff muscles
  • inflexible muscles
  • pain and muscle cramps
  • a fixed, 'mask-like' facial expression

Someone with rigidity may not be able to swing their arms when they walk because their muscles are too tight and stiff.

Some people with Parkinson's have problems turning around, getting out of chairs and turning over in bed.

Rigidity can also make it hard to do things like writing or doing up buttons.

What can help with rigidity?

What treatment is available for rigidity?

Parkinson's drugs may help with rigidity. See our drug treatments for Parkinson's information to find out more about how Parkinson's is treated.

Help and support