My MSAA Community
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Falling

I know so many have had some terrible falls (aren't they ALL terrible?), and I wondered if balance problems were always the cause or if any were from a muscle problem in the legs.

I haven't fallen, but had three episodes in rapid succession of feeling as though my left leg would give way suddenly. I was pushing a cart and could lean on it through the rest of the shopping. There was a little pain in the thigh and calf at the same time.

What are your experiences?

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greaterexp

For me it's balance because it surprises me. Weakness, I can usually lean on something and prevent a fall...so far...

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Hi Erin, my falls are usually due to balance but I have the occasional leg weakness in my right leg and the leg seems to fall away on its own, with pain in the shin. Always from the knee down, blessings Jimeka 🦋 🌈

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greaterexp, my current fall concerns are my balance and lifting my right foot. I'm wearing my AFO all the time now, but I almost fell down the garage stairs a few days ago because I wasn't paying attention and didn't lift my foot properly. Years ago my falls were due to the foot drop and weakness in my right leg. My leg would just collapse on me and I'd go down. Haven't had that happen in a very long time. By the way, shopping carts 🛒 are my friends. Was it lois52 that was partial to those 🛒 too? My memory...I could be wrong. 😉

I'm happy you didn't fall, Erin, but sorry you have to be so aware of that possibility from now on. 💞

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Oh your memory is good, Tutu shopping carts are my friend also, and railings, and walls...

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Shopping carts are my husband's friend also, he has a form of muscular dystrophy known as CMT and it causes foot drop and wasting of muscles in the extremities along with other things.

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Morllyn, your family really has more than its share of health issues. Despite your many challenges, you continue to exhibit a positive attitude. 💞

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Thank you Tutu . Not always but, I try.

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Tutu, at least I had a warning that didn't result in a fall!

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greaterexp Always, always hold the railing on stairs. That's where my knee has given out before, scary! I always have a good grip on the railing and have learned to ask others to carry awkward or heavy things up or down for me.

The one time I did fall was due more to the foot drop, which resulted in a broken wrist...

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lois52, that's a wise idea. I'm used to running up stairs all day (yes, I have an equal number of trips down the stairs!), and I never touched a handrail. Now I do hold on just to feel safer. And there is no more running up the stairs!

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Missed two stairs, fell and broke foot. Thank god I didn't break my dog. Lol. Mostly tripping due to lazy foot not lifting high enough. Sprained a wrist too. Ugh

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I am very partial to shopping carts, however, if available, I get the electric carts.-

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I almost automatically grab a shopping cart, even on my best days, just for the support. I can go into a big store feeling pretty confident, but by the time I'm at the back of the store, I can start having problems. I may look a little silly using a cart for 1 item, but I feel better having something to lean on. Those electric carts are such a godsend!

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Mine has been balance too. But I do recall Christopher GasLight say he was walking across an intersection and his legs gave out and he fell.

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Sometimes my whole left side gets weak (one of my first symptoms). I cannot trust my arm to carry much weight and my leg feels as though it will give way if I put my full weight on it.

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greaterexp Before I was diagnosed, I had a fall where my left leg gave out and I went down so hard that I broke my sunglasses on the pavement. I know that I didn't trip or have a balance issue. However, the neuros didn't think this was MS related, which goes to prove that they don't know everything.

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They don't know as much as they think they know. They don't care,

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Beenonbothsides I'm realizing with these neuro specialists, that the younger ones don't know what they don't know yet. The older ones realize and will admit, that "anything goes with MS".

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The younger one misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. Whatever...

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Greaterexp, it's Fancy1959. I can honestly say I believe least 85 to 90% of my falls are directly related to my extremely poor balance issues. I really thought I had made a very significant improvement in my balance but I had a small fall today. Didn't hurt much except to scrape the heck out of my shin. I've over done it the last two days though and I know better than to do that. When I get physically wiped out I tend to fall quicker as my muscles have had all they can take and my balance goes haywire.

There are other times when I do too much that I literally have problems walking because in my muscles in my calves feel as if they are literally collapsing. The only thing that helps at this point is to get off my feet for even 5 to 10 minutes and I can usually get by long enough to get some place where I can't sit down and put my feet up. Yes MS is so much fun! 😕😲

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Two years ago I had three falls in one week not a good week first fall my cane was wet and I missed the rug by an inch not good messed up my right knee when I fell

Second fall next day bent down and my left knee buckled and I went down and watched my left foot bend completely to the right.

Third fall four days later my husband told me to wait for him to help me I don't have to tell you I didn't wait i got up I had a bag on my shoulder which through off my balance I fell backwards hit my head on a wooden chair and cut my head and had to have two staples. Let me tell you that hurt and what hurt more was that when you have the staples out and a peice of hair gets pulled. No ballance had nothing to do with any of my fall. I loses six weeks of work.

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Hi Greaterexp, A bit of both in my case. My balance is pants and I stagger right all the time ( sometimes forwards/backwards too ) but with stick/handholds it is manageable. The old knee buckling trick is another ballgame ! I have a regular spasm in weaker leg - if standing with no weight on it, it bends and lifts foot up briefly off the floor, flexor spasm style ( so not cool ! ) Before last relapse, with my weight on it, the spasm would jiggle me about. Now it drops my leg ! If I have enough push left in leg I can push back up immediately, if not, I will go down on that knee, sometimes slowly after a fight to stay up, other times rapidly if muscles are very tired. Here's where my stick is so useful : ) Unfortunately shopping carts are my nemesis - my core is naff so they are hard to push plus if I do get them moving they seem to run away with me without the stick to anchor me ! Do you ever use a stick ? Angela x

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greaterexp Most of my falls have been caused by foot drop. My toes catch on some unevenness and down she goes. Most of the time (knock on wood) the sudden, inexplicable weakness in a knee or ankle is fleeting enough that I don't fall but I am sometimes forced to stand still for a few moments until function returns.

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Thank you all for telling me your experiences. The sudden feeling that my leg would buckle was a new one to me. I keep a cane in the car and one in the house, but usually only use them on days when I have a little difficulty with walking or muscle spasms. I may need to keep my folding cane handy when I'm out in case one of these episodes catches me unawares. It might be wise given the occasional balance problems, too.

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yes, I take a cane always, just don't know for me. Falls hurt and can be expensive [not just money]. Nice topic once again.

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My falls are usually when my leg just gives out. It feels like it just isn't there for a minute. It can be either leg, but it's usually my right one. I can be standing or walking and then all the sudden I'm falling over and the leg is dead. It doesn't happen often. It was embarrassing once, I was at a club with my hubby and some friend on the dance floor and fell. Luckily my dress was long 😄

I can usually catch myself if it's my balance. I do that wobble back and forth...lol. #NotDrunkitsMS

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Fee09, I'm sorry about your falls, but thank you for the warning. I will stay a little more vigilant! I haven't done any ballroom dancing for years, but maybe its best I don't start up again now!

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Greater exp, I still dance, with my cane. I'm a big ska/reggae fan but will happily have a jiggle to most things : ) If you enjoy a dance, please don't let disabilities stop you - just use the right equipment : ) x

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When I used to dance, and I would do a lot. I always used a cane. Everyone just got used to me using it and gave me a little more room.

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I'm in the "not ms but we are watching it' category so take mine with a grain of salt. But for me, it seems to be a combination, it happens so fast that I then have to figure what the heck went wrong. Usually what happens is my left leg doesn't do what it's suppose to do (doesn't lift up correctly or my front toes don't lift up or my leg doesn't go where I "told" it to go) and then since I have balance issues anyways, that's when I fall. At least that's me re-creating the event. It happens so fast, it's hard to say sometimes. Luckily it doesn't happen often and usually I just need to be extra careful if I'm around ground "obstacles" ;)

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greaterexp I thought I had replied. hmmmmmmm darn computers. Mine are from spasms, balance and weakness. Sometime sheer exhaustion. Or even just surprise! my leg is not going to work. Boom I am on the ground. Other times it is an attention problem. I will be walking not paying attention to the terrain, and put my cane in the wrong spot. Boom. My lack of strength coupled with my balance, I am unable to recover and down I go.

My latest was in the shower. I was washing my legs. Closed my eyes trying to reach Stretch further and I don't do well with my eyes closed and my lack of strength. My legs gave out. I hit the tile with my head, cracked it and kept falling twisting to one side and put my knee through the fiberglass tub. I put that in another post. I do it on this one, to inform people to remember what triggers your falls. Pay attention to your surroundings and make sure you make the extra effort to say safe. In this case it only cost me my ego, $1000 for a new tub and a cracked tile. (I say Only. Its more than I can spare!!!) But it could have cost me my life. Make sure you always have your phone, I left mine in my bedroom. I had to crawl 20 feet to get it. Make that drag myself 20 feet to get it. I "always bring my phone in the bathroom for that reason. Well the battery was low so I put it on the charger. My wife yelled at me, It could have waited 10 minutes to charge!!!!!!! Since then my uncle sent me his old Apple Watch cause he upgraded. ( must be nice to be rich? Hell I will take it) now at least that is in the bathroom.

Ok Ok I am done rambling. I have learned my lesson. Please learn from mine!!!!

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rlh1974, what an awful lesson! I appreciate the warning. This sudden feeling that my leg will not support me is new, and it helps to learn from veterans what to watch for.

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greaterexp Just pay attention and remember those circumstances. Make sure when things like that happen you chart when, where and the whats about it. It will save you from not just the embarrassing fall. But keep you from getting hurt.

Rob

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I felt a little silly walking into church this morning unaided and just a couple of hours later needing the cane after feeling "that sensation" again. But I sure felt a lot less worried about falling on my face! Thanks for the encouragement to take note of any warning signs!

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greaterexp That is what we are here for! Never be afraid of asking. I am 100% sure you are going to help me along the way! In fact, I look forward to it. Karen and Sue Help me a ton!

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I marvel daily at the amount if help offered here and the lovely support. What a great group we have!

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My falling is due to balance and lack of recovery ability. If I became off balance and was starting to go down, I would not be able to stop the fall. I had a real bad fall which knocked me out for a second or two and completely shattered my left collar bone. A plate and 13 screws are still there from 10 years ago. After that I have learned to take a cane, which goes everywhere with me now.

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Those mobility aids are priceless when it comes to preventing falls. I was a bit self-conscious when I first used a cane, but after reading here about so many falls and their results, I quickly overcame that!

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Yes, I used to snow ski and Ice skate. I could feel my balance and early on prior to my dx I started using a cane, I felt it was better to be safe than sorry. My neuro at the time scolded me saying I didn't need it. My reply was that I would send him my medical bills after I fell. He remain quite after that. Sometimes you just have to do what is right for you and forget what others think. After all it is I who suffers after words, not them.

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