Inventing the wheel

I feel like I’m trying to invent the wheel, trying to prevent fall-damage. You are the experts! I’m spending days on Google, looking for fall damage prevention gear. I would love to be a Michelin man or walk round in rugby gear but of course that’s not an option. Or be a tumbler doll. You know, the toy that you can’t knock over, because he always goes back up straight away. It is sort of what we need. Now I have been thinking. The trick in these toys is that all the weight is at the bottom. So I figured ankle weights might help. I now bought 2 ankle weights of 2 kilo in total and wear them under leg warmers or wide trousers. I must say it feels more stable! It’s not as heavy as I thought and I can easily walk quite a distance with them on. As a bonus, it helps to train my leg muscles! Does any of you have experience with such a thing? Or with weighed down shoes maybe???


Careful…my ankle weights included a warning not to use them when walking…can be a trip hazard. jd

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Thank you for the warning, JD! I’ll keep that in mind. However, since I put my feet rather far apart, it doesn’t seem very likely I’d trip?

Weighted shoes, definitely not something I’ve seen mentioned before😉

In my early days, I think I may have benefitted from a weighted vest of some kind, I recall feeling as though I ‘bobbed around’ like a balloon😏 There were 2 types exhibited at the NAF Convention recently, they worked on different principles. Motion Theraputics vest has weights distributed at different points ( everyone is different) and the OT vest is weighted across the shoulders.

If you reach the stage when you feel you would be safer using a rollator, do plenty of research, there are certain kinds better suited to a wider gait🙂xB

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When walking try putting your shoulders back (almost unnatural), look up (not at the floor), and slow down. For me I would trip because my feet were hitting on the toes first, instead of normal (heel first)…This cut down my tripping which cut down my falls.

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they say balancing vests are good but i havent tried them. dont need them yet. 1 thing i did learn when i tryed p.t. was be more aware when your about to fall.that does help.

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I’ve been at this for 17 years. Only recently have I ever broken something from a fall. I’m 66. I say this because the idea of Not risking a fall keeps us in a chair watching tv or some other “safe” activity. Certainly breaking bones isn’t good, but challenging my muscles and balance to keep moving, all be it a life of minor falls, is what I believe has kept me in as good a shape as I am. I’m now using hiking poles on uneven ground and while traveling (to deal with surprise situations). My experience is that exercise is the best way to be safe. Physical therapy works. One therapist suggested the leg weights when my legs were particularly rubbery and I was amazed at how well they worked. Standing on and trying to balance on a squishy foam pad is a balance exercise. Walking backwards down a long hall is another (while touching the wall). Essentially, falling is part of the gameplan, sadly. But I fall far less today than I did 17 years ago. Perhaps tumbling instruction may be helpful.

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The problem with falling is hat it HURTS. My last fall resulted in a broken hip, two weeks of hospitalization, outpatient physical therapy and lots of pain. I also have lots of expenses and limited activity as a result. I do know how to fall and did it correctly, but the problems are significant. In my case, the problem was exacerbated by bone problems, but I didn’t know I had them before. I plan to avoid falling in the future as much as possible.

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Hi Maryseas! That’s exactly how I feel!I’m also 66 and falling has been part of my life for the last 10 years or so and no big deal. Just buy another pair of jeans. LOL. I always tell people not to worry, because I’m just doing my monthly fall and one day I’ll probably brake my hip, as I’ve also got osteoporosis (knock on wood). It’s not a thing to look forward to, but I’m not going to let it hold me back in any way just to be more safe. I travel a lot and plan on keeping doing all that. However, my last fall included an orbital skull fracture (broken eyebrow) and although it was an unlucky fall, I was lucky not to have any brain damage or be hit by a car. So now I want to find a way to continue what I’m doing, without any avoiding of the risks, and at the same time not being in denial and do things consciously. I love doing balance and muscle exercising daily and walking with the ankle weights outside. It gives me a powerful feeling! I’m not going to let it bring me down. Thank you for your encouragement. I wish you a speedy recovery from your broken bones! Keep on walking!

I’m sorry to hear this Linda4! I don’t mind the pain of falling so much, as I’m blessed with a very high pain threshold. I never use painkillers. Of course, breaking bones and hospitalisation with the necessary revalidation is not what we want at all! However, I’m more interested in fall damage prevention than in fall prevention. Falling is part of who I am and unless I do not move, I’m sure it will happen again. I just hope my head will stay in one piece! Hence I’m looking at inflatable or foam collars. I may dress up as if I come from outer space! I hope you recover soon!

Thank you for the tips, Beryl_Park! I may go for a balance vest, but I feel that the weight should maybe much lower. I’ll try maybe. You can easily experience yourself by adding little bags of sand to your clothing and see how it works… I’m interested in all the different rollators, but I’m not planning on using any of those soon. It would really inhibit my daily activities! Can’t combine that. I’ve still got to move mountains you know! LOL.

:blush:Patience, determination and ‘inventiveness’ are good allies​:+1::blush:xB

Dear Manjadolan.

I am from brazil and I have SCA3 and I am going to USA to try the balancewear.
I believe that model developed by Mothion Therapeutics is similar that you have said but based in more studies. I have been reading testemonials about its use and there are people favor and some against. However I will try to wear it in the next month.I have consciousness that can work right or wrong, but it will not hurt.

That sounds like a good idea, Elchaud! It might be an idea to improvise a balance vest yourself first. Take an old bodywarmer and fill it with little sand bags all around on the inside and see how it feels? My ankle weights consist of sand bags as well and I love them!

I went on a search and found lots of ideas! Start here.
The power of the internet never ceases to amaze me.
Have fun with this!

:slightly_smiling_face:interesting link​:+1: The OT vest works on a similar principle.

Re the ‘compression vest’. A friend with ataxia wears something similar🙂xB

Thank you, ModSupport, that is very interesting! It sounds like a great solution to make your own adjustable balance vests, suited to your needs. I am now going to work with little weight bags. Sand bags or maybe even better: rice bags! I still feel like the weight should be as low as possible, so it won’t get outside of your balance basis, when moving incoherent. My ankle weights really help me a lot!

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I am 60.suffering since 6 years. I want weighted vest I am in India

Hi😊 You can find information on manufactured balance vests by googling and


I went to try the balance wear vest and got no help, so keep an open mind about it.