SaddleBrooke Parkinson’s PWR! MovesBalance Club

Hans Von Michaelis, Tom Berns, Judy Bodor, and Carole Edwards

Hans Von Michaelis, Tom Berns, Judy Bodor, and Carole Edwards

Vera Shury

Dealing with unexpected backward falling.

One of the symptoms that can arise as Parkinson’s progresses may be (don’t expect to get it, everyone is different) falling backwards! Even normal people can have a hard time stepping back. There can be various reasons for this symptom, such as hypotension, weak muscles, and loss of depth perception. One thing to consider is strengthening the muscles in the legs and core with modified squats, pushups, mountain climbers, etc.

One of main points is to re-activate body memory by repetition of correct and safe moves. The group does one or two steps forward and then several steps backward while holding onto the high railing to be fully upright and get a normal feel for balance. When stepping back, the important part of the move is to lift the heel high so the sole of the shoe doesn’t drag and stick, which contributes to loss of balance. They then turned and did the other side. It needs to be repeated many times so no deliberate thinking has to happen; the body will learn to remember. In martial arts they say 10,000 repetitions.

It is extremely important to be hydrated and take meds on time, along with doing mobility exercise up on your feet. Eyes can be used to help with balance by focusing on something at eye level, once the ground is scanned for safety. Sternum up!

Our class is two days a week, which is really not enough, as the members would benefit greatly by participating in two more sessions a week. Exercise combined with the medication for Parkinson’s is the most effective way to delay the progression of the disease and help with a better quality of life!

* is the link to check if you have that coverage in your health policy, or you can call the number on the back of your insurance card. It is not provided by Medicare.

* this is the link for United Healthcare insurance plans.

* is for Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurance plans.

Contact President Ted Birchard at 520-825-1464 or Vice President Hans Von Michaelis for more information. The annual dues are $10.

We are listed in SaddleBrooke One under exercise and support. We have quarterly support and educational meetings on the third Thursday of the month from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the SaddleBrooke One Art and Craft Center room 3, next to the gift shop. All are welcome! Go to for Parkinson’s information and support.

You can contact BIG/PWR! certified trainer, Vera Shury, at 520-275-8755 or [email protected]