Comparison of 4 Types of Rigidity, Diagnoses, and Prevalence for Occupational Therapy

Rigidity TypeDescriptionCommon DiagnosesPrevalence
Lead Pipe RigidityUniform resistance to passive movement throughout the range of motionParkinson’s disease, ParkinsonismCommon in Parkinson’s disease
Cogwheel RigidityRhythmic interruption of passive movement, characterized by a jerky or ratchet-like feelParkinson’s disease, ParkinsonismCommon in Parkinson’s disease
Decorticate RigidityIncreased tone and flexion of the upper extremities, with extension and external rotation of the lower extremitiesSevere brain injury, stroke, cerebral palsyVaries depending on the underlying condition
Decerebrate RigidityIncreased tone and extension of both upper and lower extremities, typically with pronation and plantar flexion of the feetSevere brainstem injury, brainstem lesions, meningitisLess common compared to other rigidity types