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Parkinson's Disease

Falling Backwards

06/23/2009

Question:

Why do individuals with Parkinson’s fall backwards?

Answer:

One of the cardinal features of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the loss of "postural reflexes" which are necessary to maintain balance.

Falling backwards occurs secondary to altered center of gravity and simple body mechanics after a person with PD has something that initiates loss of balance such as an obstacle.

This is something medications do not typically help, but sometimes can be helped to a certain degree with physical therapy plus ongoing daily balance exercises.

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Response by:

Punit  Agrawal, DO Punit Agrawal, DO
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University