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Thread: Why do we loose our balance

  1. #1
    Forum Member Barry52's Avatar
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    Why do we loose our balance

    What is it about MND that causes us to loose our balance and fall over. I have bulbar type which is slowly progressing and it doesn't matter how careful I try to be using walking aids I find myself on the floor. I was putting some things in my car and I turned around then next thing I'm on the deck. No blood and only a few bruises but even though my legs are strong I struggle with balance. I know I shouldn't complain as many of you are going through difficult times but I would have thought there must be a medical solution to poor balance.

    Barry
    Life is a journey, not a destination.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Terry's Avatar
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    Hi Barry;

    I think Mnd affects us in many different ways and most of which affects our movement and balance.

    For me, I have to have something relatively stable and none moving to hold onto. A persons arm to hold on to or them holding me is no good as I can't react to anything moving. I walk, shuffle along with my weighted rollator safety. I do do lots of balancing exercises and am able to do squats and many other exercises. Also my legs don't normally give away, I have had times when they have stopped working and dropped an inch or so which could well make me fall.

    I nearly fell the other day pushing on a wheelchair control, trying to move it whilst standing because it took a lot more power than I thought and then suddenly moved.

    So, for me I must not be distracted or try moving anything much, saying that I do stand unsupported in the shower and sometimes lift the shower head out from the holder.

    Seven years ago I was thinking of wearing a crash helmet or something that would provide padding as I can't protect myself at all and fall like a tree trunk.

    Hope cars OK.

    There is a program on TV that I enjoy watching with two comedians showing "Tech verses none Tech", one chap had a bike helmet that just was like a snood around the neck and inflated to a full helmet in you fell.

    Love Terry
    TB once said that "The forum is still the best source for friendship and information."

    It will only remain so if new people post and keeps us updated on things that work or don't work and tips.

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  3. #3
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that Barry. I think loss of balance is even more of an issue for those of you with PLS, than those of us with ALS.

    I know UMNs are involved in maintaining balance by, I think, adjusting the body and arms to maintain balance. Maybe PLSers , being UMN only are therefore worse affected. Just pondering, I don't know.

    For us ALSers, there's the UMN involvement and probably an imbalance in weakness in each side of the body. Maybe you have differing levels of spasticity?

    OK, I'll stop my theories now!!!

    Stay safe.
    Love Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Limb onset (arm) sporadic ALS/MND.

  4. #4
    Forum Member lorret's Avatar
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    Hi Barry, hope you're not to bruised ! I remember my ankle twisted as I stepped off the kerb to get to my car , unfortunately a young man was walking up the road , so I pretended I was looking under the car on purpose . Be careful. Lorret x
    Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
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    Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

  5. #5
    Forum Member Barry52's Avatar
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    Terry you are spot on about maintaining concentration and if I wasn't so vain when it comes to my appearance I would wear a boxer's head guard. I'm not going to the gym today because my bum is bruised.

    Ellie I think your theories are sound but when it comes to using the arms for balance they don't move when falling.

    Lorett I know how you felt, because we are embarrassed we often disguise our situation.

    Barry x
    Life is a journey, not a destination.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Terry's Avatar
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    Hi Barry;

    In my thread on exercising:- http://forum.mndassociation.org/show...light=exercise

    I had a bit on balancing which was from a Parkinsons Video. It is handy because you get to transfer weight from heals to toes and from side to side. You also learn to use your arms to get the balance back when you are off balance doing it. PLEASE NOTE it can be extremely dangerous for us to do this. I always have a standing wheelchair behind me and have fell back on it twice in the six years that I have been doing it. So it's best to get someone behind or very close to you that is paying a lot of attention for when you lose balance.

    Now to my standing part at a fixed bar just over waist height.

    I do quite full squats down to the seat of my wheelchair whilst holding the bar. I have a small pad, about three inches thick between my knees as my legs close together if not. After three sets of about ten I carry out some balancing movements,

    I move a bit further away from the bar and stand my wheelchair up. I also. move it back so that it is there behind me but allows me to move freely. I get my balance and move my weight backwards, then left, forwards and then right. I do this three times and then go the other way. I also stand up straight trying to get a good posture and after a while I twist as far as I can both ways, when back central, I bend at the waist and touch my head on the bar.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COULD BE VERY DANGEROUS

    But this helps me so much as I have re-learnt to balance better and know how much concentration it takes.

    Love Terry
    TB once said that "The forum is still the best source for friendship and information."

    It will only remain so if new people post and keeps us updated on things that work or don't work and tips.

    Please post on old threads that are of use so that others see them and feel free to start new subjects and threads.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Many moons ago Barry, soon after my diagnosis and when my arms still worked, I was astounded when I fell like a tree. I remember asking my Neuro why my arms didn't instinctively try to break my fall and her explanation was it's due to UMN damage not relaying messages.

    Hope you are still driving?

    Ellie x.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Limb onset (arm) sporadic ALS/MND.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Terry's Avatar
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    One other thing Barry,

    I rely on looking at a fixed point for my reference and very much concentrate on that whilst standing balancing.

    Not sure if my ear balance system works and am not brave enough to try.

    Love Terry
    TB once said that "The forum is still the best source for friendship and information."

    It will only remain so if new people post and keeps us updated on things that work or don't work and tips.

    Please post on old threads that are of use so that others see them and feel free to start new subjects and threads.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Barry52's Avatar
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    Hi TC,

    Thanks for reposting the exercise thread as I somehow missed it first time round. I do some similar exercises at my gym but I had to give up the hand cycle as it was causing neck pain.

    Ellie, I love your analogy of falling like a tree. If only we had branches to break the fall. I am resisting the temptation to use my wheelchair more often as I want to keep my legs moving. I am torn between the idea that it will be safer as it is difficult to fall from a sitting position but as my wife says "use it or loose it". I am still driving but the journeys are shorter. I must have had a blank mind when I booked a holiday in Cornwall at the end of September. My wife drives but doesn't like it so I will have to play my "feeling tired" card.

    Barry x
    Life is a journey, not a destination.

  10. #10
    Forum Member marieline's Avatar
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    HI Barry, welcome to the club. Falling has been one of the most prominent symptoms for me. Sometimes it happens because the legs do not get the message in time, one leg give up under me, some times because the toes get in the way. But it most have to do with proprioception. Proprioception is impaired in neurological disorders. That is our body looses the ability to maintain equilibrium, delayed reaction to motion and position. So basically this is more sensory than motor.
    although MND affects motor nerves, we do loose a few sensory functions. That is why balance exercises helps, but i gave up on trying, because i do not have the patience, but there are exercises you can do.
    Yes NEVER stop using it, but keep it safe by going slowly. I know that i cannot have another fall so will be using some form of walking aids in door now.\
    Best wishes x Marieline

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