Parkinson’s disease is a condition that causes the brain to become progressively more damaged over time, said the NHS. You could be at risk of the neurodegenerative condition if you notice that you’ve started hunching over while standing.
Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells in a specific part of the brain.
These nerve cells are used to help send messages between the brain and the nervous system.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms tend to develop gradually, and only appear as mild at first.
But, one of the earliest signs of the brain condition is a subtle change to your posture.
Some Parkinson’s patients find that they don’t stand up as straight as they’re used to.
You may be hunching over or stooping while walking, or even simply leaning to one side.
It’s normal to occasionally stand a little bit different if you’ve had a recent injury.
But, if your stance has persistently changed without any obvious explanation, it may be worth speaking to a doctor.
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“It can be hard to tell if you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease,” said charity the Parkinson’s Foundation.
“Are you not standing up as straight as you used to? If you or your family or friends notice that you seem to be stooping, leaning or slouching when you stand, it could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease.
“If you have pain from an injury or if you are sick, it might cause you to stand crookedly. Also, a problem with your bones can make you hunch over.
“No single one of these signs means that you should worry, but if you have more than one sign you should consider making an appointment to talk to your doctor.”
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Other common signs of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, slow movement, and muscle stiffness.
The muscle stiffness makes facial expressions more difficult, said the charity.
Tremors usually start in the hand or the arm, and are more likely to occur when the arm is relaxed.
There are about 127,000 people in the UK with Parkinson’s disease – the equivalent to about one in 500 people.
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Meanwhile, if you commonly slouch over, certain exercises can help to alleviate the muscle tension caused by poor standing habits.
Correcting your posture may feel slightly awkward at first.
That’s because your body is used to resting in an unfamiliar position.
But, with practice, the posture exercises will help to improve your posture, and also the health of your spine.
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