Postural instability in Parkinson's disease: Review and bottom-up rehabilitative approaches

Neurophysiol Clin. 2020 Nov;50(6):479-487. doi: 10.1016/j.neucli.2020.10.013. Epub 2020 Nov 7.


The aims of this narrative review are to provide scientific support to characterize the postural instability commonly observed in Parkinson's disease (PD), and to emphasize how bottom-up rehabilitation programs stimulating the sole of the foot can improve postural stability in PD. Postural instability is a typical characteristic of individuals with PD, which increases the frequency of falls and may worsen their consequences. It thus seems relevant to diagnose these alterations as early as possible, in order to develop specific rehabilitative treatment. The association between sensitivity of the sole of the foot and postural instability in individuals with PD is linked to the key role of peripheral alterations of the sensorimotor system in balance and motor symptoms. By enhancing sensory feedback coming from the feet, bottom-up stimulation allows patients to improve their sensorimotor control. In clinical practice, health practitioners can use sensory stimulation to improve postural control. By improving postural stability, a decrease in fall risk can be achieved and the secondary impairments associated with falls prevented.

Keywords: Bottom-up rehabilitation; Cutaneous feedback; Foot sole; Parkinson’s disease; Postural control.

Publication types

  • Review