I’ve been struggling with understanding why we fall. Why can’t we correct our balance in good time? What could we do to prevent falling? What is the best way to walk? I found the following article very helpful… http://walkingwithataxia.com/basic-problems-solutions/
Dr Thomas Clouse has many devotees. This is useful advice. xB
Dr. Clouse is great!!! I couldn’t get him to come to my area so I went for physical therapy. Just walking they said to walk with your shoulders back, look at the walls, not your feet and slow down. Part of the problem was I was tripping and that would cause me to fall. Doing this simple thing decreased my tripping which decreased my falling. I used to fall several times a week, now it may be a month or more.
I liked PT because they taught me how to walk but they also showed me how to walk on uneven ground, ramps, stepping over objects, reaching across a table for something.
If you do check out a physical therapist make sure they work on people with neurological conditions not orthopedic. There is a difference.
The article is good but it says that you can’t remember everything but the key is to keep doing it (and you will forget) and eventually it becomes muscle memory and you just do it. I find myself stopping what I’m doing and starting over and doing it the correct way. When I do it wrong it puts me off balance and I start over and do it right.
What simple thing did you do?
for walking I just walk with my shoulders back, look at the walls and slow down.
Thank you Kay, I’m practising walking the right way now. It works! I can now walk in a fairly straight line again, without looking down! I still trail my travel trolley behind me and that helps me to pull my shoulder back and correct my balance, through the constant feedback when I move out of balance. Also I now focus on a horizontal line in the distance when possible and the visual aid also seems to help. Yes, and slow down! Focus on what you are doing and do it right! I’ll also start to do things over again if I do it wrong. Thank you so much for your advice <3
I thought Dr. Clouse suggests that we bend our hips and knees(lower ourselves straight down), keep shoulders, knees and toes of our feet close to lined up.
This is where my confusion comes in, you informed me that you hold your shoulders back.
But Dr.Clouse suggests keeping shoulders, knees and toes close to lined up.
Since he instructs us to bend our hips and knees and keep shoulders, knees and toes close to lined up,
Wouldn’t our shoulders go forward to be close to lined up to the toes?
Thank you very much for your response. I truly appreciate it.
You are probably right, Ms Kelly Hogans! I admit I’m not quite straight with my travel trolley. Although pulling my shoulders backwards, does make me straight, my shoulders are not symmetrical. In fact my whole body is a bit turned and that does not sound good. although it works very well for me. I think with getting used to the trolley I may have problems when suddenly walking without it! I’ll start practising more walking without anything. But then again I usually have to carry stuff with me, like my laptop etc, and this seems the safest way to carry things. A backpack makes me tip over and a shoulder bag as well! Does Dr Clouse have a solution for people that always are carrying stuff around?
The way you walk may be a solution 4 you because of carrying items.
I have never met Dr. Clouse because when I was supposed to work with him, Mother Nature damaged the facility I was supposed to work with him in.
I wish I did meet with him, he may have told me how we should walk when carrying things.
I do remember I sent him an email asking if our shoulders should be forward to be over the toes?
He replied: ABSOLUTELY
Yes, but the way the therapist explained it when we look at our feet we are bending forward and then we walk faster to “catch up”. I have found that if you put your shoulders back and look at the walls it naturally picks up your feet so your not tripping.
You’re welcome! I’m glad it’s helping. I know these things changed my life.
Yes, Dr Clouse says: “Keep your shoulders, knees and toes in line” while standing that is. Still the only way to keep straight seems to be to pull your shoulders back a bit.That feels most stable. I’ll try with a mirror and see what works…
Yes, that makes sense. It’s probably the worst thing to do, to bend your head down…
I have found problems falling mostly when turning around.
Yes, that’s how my bad fall happened! Conflicting impulses and a brain reaction that is too slow! Always turn around slowly and keep your body weight in the middle, so keep up straight! Move from your feet, not from your torso…
I just realised that my shoulders may need to be pulled back more to compensate for my slightly protruding belly
So, that may also be my problem. With there being so many variations in ataxia, we have to remember, all advice will not be suitable for all types. Nine times out of ten there likely will be benefit but if anyone isn’t able to follow this procedure through, don’t feel you’re doing anything wrong and don’t beat yourself up. As long as something doesn’t make symptoms worse to cope with, it’s worth trying.xB
This is a good, and often overlooked thought.
I was pregnant for the only time a few years ago. I gained 90 lbs during my pregnancy and found it very hard to stay balanced or initiate movement. You do have to hold yourself different if you are carrying extra weight, especially if it’s in one area. Some of us have tummies, others have big butts, etc- it would make a difference in how you held yourself.
If any of you ladies are feeling adventurous, I recommend practicing walking in a solid pair of high heels. High heels force you to put your weight exactly in the middle of your foot. It doesn’t let us put weight on our toes OR heels, which are both things ataxic people tend to do. Before I had my son, I tried to go out at least once a week in high heels. It really did help over time.
Practice walking in high heels. Personally, I’d find it scary, flat sturdy shoes are all I can manage these days. Apart from anything else, it would place to much weight and stress on my toes, and they are painful enough But, if it works for you xB