Loss of balance with ALS

Status
Not open for further replies.

hope

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
230
I was just wondering is falling down part of als?

Sandy.
 

Al

Moderator emeritus
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
City
NW of Toronto
They told me that is is usually one of the first signs. I didn't do it so they thought maybe I had something else. Ha! Fooled them.
 

ruby ben

Active member
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
82
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2010
Country
CA
State
B. C.
City
Vancouver (Surrey)
Hi - yes loosing your balance at times can cause you to fall.

I find that some times I have to take a few steps back to gain my balance.

My first sign was limping, second atrophy and third balance.

.....................ruby from vancouver (surrey)
 

jess4t

New member
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
5
Reason
Friend was DX
Country
US
State
NC
City
Atkinson
I have a friend w/ ALS & his affected his upper body first, but the falling is beginning so as everyone else answered: yes falling us (unfortunately). My friend uses a wheelchair when we go out. However, he will walk en his home (his mother moved to live w/ him), but he just needs you beside him. If he's very fatigue then I usually walk in front of him & hold his wrists for balance support. Also I help him out of the wheelchair & he will walk to the car & get in on his own but of course I stay right there w/ him. Of course the wheelchair is uncomfy! so if we go to a restaurant or movies he wants to get out & sit in a regular chair. I was at his house the other night & he fell. This has happened before & we both got him up but this time we could not! He is of course 6'2" & 200 lbs. so imagine that plus dead weight. We called the paramedics & the guy actually showed us a great technique. Good luck w/ everything & be careful.

Jess
 

hwbissegg

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2006
Messages
14
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
Utay
City
Salt Lake City
Yes!

I've tripped and fallen several times since my left foot started to drop. So I'd say that it is definately a part of ALS once the lower limbs are affected.
In my experience it happens for two reasons: one, if you get foot drop you can't flex your foot when walking so if you don't lift your leg high enough to clear your toes, then down you go! two: if your legs are weak and/or your balance is bad, even the slightest fumble in your steps will cause a tumble! I think most people would recover just fine from these minor missteps, but since you're weak, you don't have the strength to recover.
I have scars on my knees from falling while trying to get into a taxi in New York City. I also fell in the middle of Chinatown on the same visit! But the worst fall of all was when I fell in the cafeteria of the high school that I teach at! :oops: Worse than that was that I couldn't get up because my legs are so weak! :evil: The easiest thing to do, though, is to just laugh :mrgreen: it off...even when you feel like cryin'!:cry:
 

rickmcmahan

Active member
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
48
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
ms
City
batesville
My right foot has some "drop" that has resulted in a few falls but not many. But I have found an item that has helped me walk with less problems. The calf muscle of my right leg has been soo stiff and tight for several months. If that muscle will not stretch easy it will be a strugle for the opposite muscle to pull your foot up during walking. So I started stretching my calf muscle every day and it has helped me a lot. First of all, my calf muscle feels more normal (not stiff and tight). And I have had almost no toe dragging since I started the stretching. So I feel like it has helped -no cured!

Here is how I stretch that calf muscle. I made a device which is a handle with an attatched 1" strap. I loop the strap around the area just behind my toes while sitting on the bed or in a recliner (keeping my leg straight and relaxed) and pull on the handle for a count of 1-10 mississippi counts. I repeat this 10 times. That has taken away the stiffness. I hope this can help reduce your foot drop IF calf muscle stiffness/tightness is a condition. Rick
 

Al

Moderator emeritus
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
City
NW of Toronto
Thanks. Rick. That's just one of the little tips that some of of us may not have thought of trying. Probably not in the manuals but adapted by someone with the disease. That's the purpose of this forum. Trying to help each other. Thanks again. And welcome. AL.
 

MaggyQ

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
24
Country
US
State
california
City
los angeles
Hi Rick.

My PT gave me some stretchy long bands, which are nothing more than huge, flat plastic rubber bands, albeit with more give, that perform the same function. The PT also had me move my foot against the band being held from the opposite direction in order to work the range of motion on the ankle. Basically, you place the band around your foot from the side and have someone hold the ends of the band to provide the resistance.
Then you try to move your foot out and against the retraint. It's to be done in both directions.

My neuro also suggested ROM (range of motion) to give the joints lubricated. Rolling the ankle or simply having someone assist with passive ROM by holding the foot and moving it from side to side, pressing up on the sole, etc.
 

rickmcmahan

Active member
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
48
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
ms
City
batesville
My PT suggested I use a sheet that you would just loop around your foot and pull on it. I thought that woud be kind of bulky. That is wiy I made my on custom designed device that is the correct length for my leg. The best thing is that that stiff calf muscle is almost history. Not gone, but much better. I honestly feel like that is allowing my weak muscle that lifts my foot have more freedom to do what it can do. No falls in almost two months! Hope you have a great day. Rick
 

azevedoc

New member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
2
Reason
PALS
Country
CA
State
British Columbia
City
Merritt
ruby ben said:
Hi - yes loosing your balance at times can cause you to fall.

I find that some times I have to take a few steps back to gain my balance.

My first sign was limping, second atrophy and third balance.

.....................ruby from vancouver (surrey)

Hi, I am newly diagnosed with als and have some questions (some kinda gross ones), don't know where to ask them. I've been to the clinic in Vancouver, but don't feel I can ask them there. Any ideas?
 

Mike27

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
280
Diagnosis
10/1993
Country
CA
State
Alberta
City
Edmonton
azevedoc said:
Hi, I am newly diagnosed with als and have some questions (some kinda gross ones), don't know where to ask them. I've been to the clinic in Vancouver, but don't feel I can ask them there. Any ideas?
Hi and welcome!

This is the place to ask questions of any sort..absolutely ANY sort! You won't gross anyone out here and you need answers so ask away.

Maybe do searches first to see if your questions have been asked already, you may find an answer. But if not then just start a new thread and ask, no problem!

This is a very good forum with great people. We're all in the same boat, just trying to figure this disease out and live life to the best of our abilities.

Also, if you don't want to ask on the open forum, feel free to PM me anytime.

Cheers!
 

Countrycouple

Active member
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Messages
53
Reason
Loved one DX
Country
CA
State
Ontario
City
Lanark
Mom was falling lots before she was diagnosed in 2005.. They said the ALS probaly started a few years ago before she was diagnosed.. She was falling when getting off the public transit.. or while out shopping.. So I belive falling is part of it.. yes..
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top