The effect of Nordic walking on Parkinson's patients’ functioning, mobility, and balance

 Ariella Yosef Hay1, Daniel Moran2, Noa Ben Ami3

1 Ariella Yosef Hay, BPT, Student MPT, Ariel University, Maccabi Healthcare
2 Prof' Daniel Moran, PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ariel University
3 Dr Noa Ben Ami, PT, PhD, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ariel University

Background: Parkinson's disease is characterized by motor disorders that affect balance, mobility, and functioning. Nordic walking is a method of rehabilitative treatment that has been popular among this population in recent years. Studies show that it is easy to use and safe. It also has a positive effect on physical activity and balance among the elderly population. It can be concluded that Nordic walking may contribute to improving these measures in Parkinson's patients as well. But, studies of this population showed conflicting results. Therefore, it is necessary to review the studies on this subject.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to review the literature that evaluates the effectiveness of Nordic walking on the functioning, mobility, and balance of patients with Parkinson's disease.
Method: Research was conducted using the PubMed Google Scholar, Cochrane, and PEDro databases. The keywords Parkinson's or Parkinson's Disease were used with one of the following words: Nordic walking training, Nordic walking, Walking with poles. The search was restricted to articles in English and focused on articles published between 2008 and 2018. The review included clinical and cross-sectional studies that examined the effect of Nordic walking training on Parkinson's patients, with and without comparison to other treatments.


Results: The review included 15 articles. The scientific value of the included studies was rated according to the PEDro scale and ranged between 2 and 7 on a scale of 10. Our review suggests that Nordic walking has a positive effect on the functioning, mobility, and balance of patients with Parkinson's disease. Only eight studies compared Nordic walking to other treatment methods and two articles conducted a long-term follow-up. The sample size in the studies ranged from 12-90, and the intervention protocol ranged from 2-5 weekly sessions over a period of 4-24 weeks.
Conclusion: Nordic walking training has a positive effect on the various measures, but many limitations prevent researchers from drawing a definitive conclusion. These factors include low-quality methodologies, heterogeneity of protocols, and small sample sizes. Further randomized clinical trials with a large sample, a long-term follow-up period, and comparisons with other treatment methods are needed to determine whether this method can be considered an effective treatment method for patients with Parkinson's disease.

Keywords: Parkinson, Parkinson's Disease, Nordic walking training, Nordic walking, walking with poles

עבור לתוכן העמוד