Muscle stiffness and rigidity are terms used to describe when an individual has difficulty moving their muscles after rest and has a tight feeling in their muscles. Muscle stiffness is commonly accompanied by muscle cramping, muscle pains, and muscle discomfort. In Parkinson’s disease patients, muscle stiffness can be unilateral or bilateral. Muscle stiffness can also result in a moderately reduced range of motion. A common characteristic seen in individuals affected by Parkinson’s disease is a decreased arm swing when walking caused by muscle stiffness. Facial masking is also a common occurrence in affected individuals, where the stiffness of the facial muscles produces a mask-like appearance. A patient with this symptom may also find it challenging to pivot or turn when they are getting out of a sitting position or walking. Muscle stiffness is one of the three main signs a physician will look for in a patient to make a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Between ninety and ninety-nine percent of all Parkinson’s disease patients experience muscle stiffness.
Continue reading to learn about more symptoms of Parkinson’s disease now.