Best way to fall?: Is there a good way to fall? My... - Ataxia UK

Ataxia UK
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Best way to fall?

BobR47
BobR47

Is there a good way to fall? My PT guy says to protect you head but that was about it. I saw a guy on YouTube with ataxia ( a Brit) who said he had learned a safe way to fall.

31 Replies
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You get used to falling Bob, I’ve been doing it for years, I generally fall on my right arm, you eventually become practiced at it, I live in the Uk!

May I take this chance to thank a US Military Veteran for his service to his Country, an honour to meet you sir..... so to speak!

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to Veteran250

And thank you for your service. Today is VE Day. I’m watching a YouTube series on WWII in color. A great reminder of the sacrifices made.

I usually fall in what feels like slow motion and try to fall against something that does not move. I rarely fall these days as I am so careful but when I do, I find rigidity in my limbs prevents me from doing anything so I just go down. I start to fall backwards but can end up going in any direction! Take care x

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to PatsyIpswich

Your comment on rigidity is interesting. It really is my worst problem, but has not caused a fall yet.

Please don’t think you have to get used to falling down Bob. In the early days of my diagnosis I fell twice breaking my wrist the first time and 4 ribs the second. In the last four years I haven’t fallen once but I am very careful.

I had to acknowledge that I was a bit unstable so though I move around the house without an aid (though a bit of furniture surfing!) I have a Zimmer frame by the bed in case I have to get up in the night and find myself a bit wobbly. I also find that when I first stand after sitting down I am more wobbly so keep a three wheeled rollator near the chair to help with the first two or three steps.

I try not to sit for longer than half an hour because it’s so important to keep moving. Your treadmill walking is excellent - I am so missing my gym sessions with my personal trainer. The following is a link to the chair based Pilates on Y tube which was recommended by the Ataxia specialist hospital in London.

https.//nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitne...

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to Libra7

I’m still able to get to the bathroom at night, unaided and in the dark, but I’m super cautious.

I think there is no good way to fall. Ataxia stops me from saving myself, so prevention is the answer.

I have had broken bones and lots of bruises over the years. As we get older our bones are not as strong …. I have just found out that I have osteopenia, therefore I am terrified of falling.

I was lucky enough to get aikido lessons as a child. The way they taught me to fall was to imagine a plastic hoop around my body, you want as much phisical contact with that hòop as you can. To protect your head raise your arms a little so your head is bloked from making contact with the ground. Absord the fall with as much of the hoop as you can. You should naturaly roll. As others have said its better to prevent falls but sometimes you just cant help it.

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to downsey100

I like the roll and head protection techniques. Will use them if needed, so far no falls in well over a year.

downsey100
downsey100
in reply to BobR47

Haha. I fall at least every week so every year is so good!

There definitely is a safer way of falling. As has been said by others, it is much better not to fall, but if you do then rolling is very helpful. I played a lot of rugby as a youngster, and got very used to falling. I now am 5 or 6 stone heavier, and 45 years older, but I rarely hurt myself when I fall, which happens about once a month. I automatically protect myself so it's hard to analyse what I do.

This is a useful discussion, so thanks Bob.

I have started to fall a bit more now and am always conscious of protecting my head, as a result my right arm and side seem to take most impacts! I was saying to my wife this morning that I was thinking of wearing my gardening knee pads on my elbows.

Every time I get out of a chair, or bed, I do several hip rolls while holding on to something solid. This helps to loosen up my hips and also reminds me to think about where I’m headed rather than allowing autopilot to take over and throw me on the floor.

Nigel

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to nigelrheath

Some good ideas, thanks. I can really identify with all the symptoms I’m hearing on the site.

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to nigelrheath

Thanks for the reply.

The gardening pads are a great plan! I used to ride a snake board as a kid, therefore had wrist guards etc. available. The only prob with constant use is they get very ichy like a plaster cast.

Libra and Nigel, I find your responses really helpful. Thanks Bob too. Yes in a sense we mustn’t get too accustomed to falls because we become accepting of something that could become dangerous. I was in my 30s, falling 3-4 times a week but was taken aback when my GP was surprised (if not horrified...) Libra and Nigel’s tips on prevention great, it’s also been helpful to me to realise when I’m more at risk of falling (tired, hormonal, ill, upset, stiff, in pain) so I know when not to push it. Doing Pilates with a physiotherapist has been the greatest help. I’m down to 1 fall a week, if that. It turns out I have strong bones! All the best.

Thanks for all the info and tips.

I fall a lot. Normally I know just before and try to hang on to my walker.I try to cheer myself by thinking how I did not break anything and practise getting off floor - be as strong as you can be x

downsey100
downsey100
in reply to Litty

Same here, i might try to hold on to my walker but even thats not up to it occasionaly!

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to Litty

How do you know “just before” it happens?

Litty
Litty
in reply to BobR47

Lol - I am going so slowly there is time and I expect I will x

I have found 4 wheels cope better than 3 x

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to Litty

4 wheels?

Litty
Litty
in reply to BobR47

Lol memory goes so forgot walker x

I agree with downsy. My two sons used to play judo and the first thing they were shown was how to fall safely. Better not to fall at all if you can help it. I use a rollator (4 wheels are more stable ) a good core strength helps it stops some falls and help stop you going backwards. I've fell like that a few times and it's not good. carol

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to carol31271

Not using a walker. Don’t even like trekking sticks or a cane, have tried them both.

downsey100
downsey100
in reply to BobR47

I was just the same, I didn't want to use walking aides at all, after afew years I saw them as just nesessary. Maybe my ataxia is just diffent, the docs havnt been able to idetify exactly which ataxia i have.

I guess its best not to use aides for as long as possible, who knows you may never need to use them.

BobR47
BobR47
in reply to downsey100

One thing my PT emphasizes is use of my weak left side. If I were to use a cane in my right hand it would allow the left leg to maybe get worse. Most posts on this site recommend “use it or loose it”. Guess I will follow that thought as long as I can.

Check out some Youtube Videos on the way professional wrestlers fall. time after time after time with no injury. Look closely they always roll into a fall rather than flat facing.

Once you know that you are on the way down , accept the fall is going to happen and try and roll. Bracing with arms will break them. Also get your bone density checked ASAP as my Neuro suggested. May have wet bones anyway

Good idea. Will check YouTube. Thanks!

Carefully!

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