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Parkinson's Motor Symptoms

Motor Symptoms 

The motor symptoms can include tremor, rigid muscles, slow movement amongst others.  

It is important to note that everybody experiences different combinations of symptoms and people do not experience all of the symptoms. 


Bradykinesia is slowness of movement of different parts of the body and is a key symptom of Parkinson's. This translates into difficulty performing everyday functions, such as buttoning a shirt, putting on mascara, cutting food or brushing your teeth. This slowness in your movement can mean that it takes more time and effort to complete daily tasks, which can result in fatigue.


Some people who have Parkinson's can have a reduction in dexterity which can lead them to drop objects more often or have difficulty performing activities like getting dressed or opening a wallet. This can also be a symptom during the menstrual cycle, peri-menopause and menopause for some women with Parkinson's.

Difficulty Typing

Some people with Parkinson's may have more difficulty typing due to the slowed movements (Bradykinesia) and notice typing gets worse when the dopamine levels drop in between doses of levodopa medication.


Freezing in Parkinson's is when you the inability to move forward for move forward for several seconds or minutes.

Loss of Balance
(Postural Instability)

Parkinson’s can cause a loss of reflexes needed to maintain an upright posture, causing some people with Parkinson’s to feel unstable while standing upright. This instability, in turn, can increase the risk of falling.

Jerky Movements

Dyskinesia is when the body makes involuntary, dance like movements in of the arms, trunk and legs. They can include twitches, jerks, twisting or writhing movements, or simple restlessness. This is a side effect of too much levodopa medication.

Low Voice

Some people with Parkinson's can notice that their becomes quieter than normal. This is known as Hypophonia.

Muscle Cramps

Dystonia is a common symptom of Parkinson's which is when there is continuous or repetitive muscle twisting, spasm or cramp that can happen at different times of day. Curled, clenched toes or a painful, cramped foot are tell-tale signs of dystonia.

Restless Leg

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common in Parkinson's, but it can also be a separate condition that is unrelated to Parkinson's. The symptoms of RLS include discomfort, sometimes described as tingling, burning, itching or throbbing in your legs. People have described it as a 'creepy-crawly' feeling, or that it feels like they have fizzy water in their veins.


Rigidity is key symptom in Parkinson's and causes muscles to feel tense and tighten up without you wanting them to. It can happen in different parts of your body, including your arms, legs, neck, back, and even smaller facial muscles.

Small Handwriting

Micrographia is a common symptom of Parkinson's. It is when your handwriting becomes very small, cramped and often illegible. Your handwriting can get smaller when your dopamine levels drop in between doses of levodopa medication.


A tremor caused by Parkinson's can appear in 2 ways: 1) A resting tremor. This might happen when your body is still and relaxed, for example when you're lying in bed. The most typical tremor in Parkinson's is called a pill-rolling' rest tremor, as it looks like you are trying to roll a pill between your thumb and index finger. 2) An Action Tremor - This can happen when you're doing something, like trying to hold a magazine or drink from a cup.

Facial masking

Parkinson’s can impact the use of facial muscles. This is often referred to as having a Parkinson's 'mask' or facial masking. A lack of dopamine in the brain can stop your facial muscles from working as well as they used to. When the muscles of the face are stiff or take longer to move, it can be hard to smile, raise your eyebrows, or otherwise express your feelings using your face, which is an important part of how we communicate. Further information on symptoms can be found here.

Hormones &
their impact
on women with 

Women with Parkinson's experience hormonal symptoms during the menstrual cycle and the peri-menopause, menopause and post menopause that can mimic Parkinson's symptoms or seem to exacerbate or ease Parkinson's symptoms. Click here for more information.

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