How does the Parkinson’s spoon work?
If your doctor recommended one, or you just came across them while browsing the net, you may be wondering that!
Below, we’ll go over exactly how these special “liftware” utensils help those with tremors eat more safely and easily.
Let’s get started!
READ MORE: Top 3 Parkinson’s Spoon You Should Consider
How Does the Parkinson’s Spoon Work?
Involuntary movement, or unwanted tremor, is a common disease symptom of Parkinson’s disease and affects every patient’s daily living.
Stabilization technology was used to improve cutlery a few years back, and the benefits were truly astounding.
These assistive feeding devices provide independence for people with Parkinson’s disease to regain independence and strengthen muscle control.
Multiple companies now offer utensil weight sets that help people with tremors who are coping with Parkinson’s health condition.
A battery-operated liftware utensil device for people with Parkinson’s disease was designed in 2014 as medication for Parkinson’s patients.
This medical treatment is equivalent to deep brain stimulation as well as disease medication to a functional arm movement.
So, how does this care product improve the quality of life? For that answer, we need to understand the different types of tremors.
Related: Best Weighted Gloves for Tremors
What Are the Different Types of Tremors?
To fully understand the arm movement assessment and how the weighted utensil works, I elaborated on common disease symptoms.
I’ve included videos to help explain each one in a bit more detail.
Essential tremor common symptoms include trembling in the hands and arms that occur while moving or sitting.
Additional symptoms also occur as head tremors and can also cause a shaking sound if the voice box is affected.
Check out the video below for examples:
As NIH explains, a dystonic tremor “occurs in people who are affected by dystonia—a movement disorder where incorrect messages from the brain cause muscles to be overactive, resulting in abnormal postures or sustained, unwanted movements.
NIH goes on to explain that this type of tremor is most common in young to middle-aged adults and that it can affect any muscle in your body.
This video does a good job of explaining it:
Cerebellar tremors are easily seen and occur typically after a “purposeful movement.” Think pressing the button on your phone or typing on your keyboard.
Damage to the cerebellum – the part of your brain responsible for most basic muscle movements- causes these types of tremors.
It’s typically caused by strokes, tumors, and degenerative disorders like MS. Also, alcohol abuse can cause chronic damage to the cerebellum.
The video below focuses on this type of tremor in relation to Parkinson’s disease.
Psychogenic tremor (also known as functional tremor) can occur anywhere on the body. Many people with psychogenic tremors have a psychiatric illness like depression or PTSD.
Parkinsonian tremor is a common symptom underlying Parkinson’s disease, however, not everyone has it.
Symptoms include restless shaking of one or both hands. Chin, lips, face, and legs may be affected.
The tremor can start in one extremity, one or both sides of your body. More than 25% of persons with Parkinson’s have an action tremor.
Check: 45 Parkinson’s Friendly Gifts
How is Tremor Treated?
While most tremors are incurable, there are ways to manage symptoms. In certain circumstances, mild symptoms do not necessitate treatment.
Finding the right treatment requires precise cause identification. Treatment for serious health problems can occasionally alleviate or eliminate tremors.
Once diagnosed, your doctor determines the best course of action. There’s really no “one size fits all” Parkinson’s treatment.
Some patients do well with physical therapy and lifestyle modifications, while others require surgery.
Regardless of treatment (or rather, alongside it) though, doctors often recommend certain aids to help make life easier. Among them, the Parkinson’s spoon.
Weighted utensils are one of the most essential aids for those with Parkinson’s disease. Given the weight of the utensils, it keeps your hands from shaking.
These Weighted Utensils include ergonomic designs that help alleviate tremors, giving more muscle strength, and assists those with sensory problems to have postural control.
3 Types of Parkinson’s Spoons
According to a study, persons with Parkinson’s disease who use these spoons have their tremors reduced by 76%.
An anti-shake spoon comes with sensors, attachments, and an electronic handle as well as a microchip.
We provided below the Parkinson’s spoons you should definitely check out.
1. Self-Stabilizing Gyenno’s Parkinson’s Spoon
Its non-slip ergonomic shape makes it comfortable to grasp. This device weighs 130 grams, making it the ideal size for Parkinson’s patients, and reduces 85% of unwanted tremors.
As it is made of medical-grade silicones, you can guarantee that your utensils are safe!
Moreover, it helps conserve energy because of its automated sleep mode when it senses that no one is using it at the moment.
2. Liftware Steady Utensil Starter Kit
For people whose tremors have not yet worsened, this spoon is excellent (not recommended for severe tremors).
You also get a soup spoon, a joint spoon, and a fork all together with this set. It is equipped with sensors to measure unconscious hand movements, a microprocessor, and a motor to counteract such motions.
More importantly, a liftware spoon can reduce trembling by as much as 70%.
3. Special Supplies Adaptive Utensil
The set comes with four utensils: a fork, a knife, a dinner spoon, and a soup spoon. These utensils are wider and have ribbed handles to improve grip control and stability.
These are stainless steel utensils, which provide longevity and functionality. However, these adaptive utensils are non-weighted which is disadvantageous for persons with Parkinson’s, though, its ergonomic design provides a stronger grip.
How does the Liftware spoon work?
Liftware is a self-stabilizing electronic spoon as well as fork attachment. The handle detects tremors and moves the utensil in a reverse manner.
What are weighted utensils?
Weighted utensils for tremors stabilize hand and arm control for Parkinson’s patients or a related health condition.
Breakthroughs in treatment like the Parkinson’s spoon highlights how it can improve the patient’s quality of life by providing them independence at mealtimes.
Today, it is now easier to receive expert care and find such adaptive technologies in the market!
- Brian MK Allen. 2014. “‘Smart’ Spoon for Parkinson’s Sufferers.” YouTube Video. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiVQcgmIi08.
- “Our Goal: An Urgently Needed Cure.” 2021. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research | Parkinson’s Disease. 2021. https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate/our-goal-urgently-needed-cure?smcid=bg-a1b1R0000086fO3&gclid=79be5cddea291baec7003dd0b7ef2638&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=79be5cddea291baec7003dd0b7ef2638.
- “Tremor Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.” 2021. Nih.gov. 2021. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Tremor-Fact-Sheet.
Do you have any questions about how the Parkinson’s spoon works? Any tips? Share below.
Claire is a registered nurse with experience in freelance medical writing. She is very passionate about geriatric nursing and seniors care and education (it is her favorite area of nursing). She worked with many seniors in a variety of medical settings to provide high-quality education and instructions about medical conditions and proper self-care. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.