Thursday, June 8, 2017

Multiple sclerosis and recovery from falls

I always explain the MS nerve delay like this: “Healthy folks trip over a throw rug and their other leg slams down on the floor and catches them. For me, by the time the message gets from my legs, to my brain so my brain can tell my legs to correct, I’m down” Today my left leg got stuck on a spot on my tile and my right leg slammed on the ground and caught me. That hasn’t happened in 20+ years and possibly 30. That’s big. 

That should start both of our weeks off well.

Diane and I had a very interesting discussion of the above statement. She has had multiple sclerosis for decades. Falls are a major issue for her. Once they start they have up until now ended on the ground.

Just being able to avoid a fall was a huge thing for her. It happen in an instant without a concious thought. It just happened

Recovery from falls is not only an issue for MS patients but it is an issue for all of us particularly as we age. It has become a critical issue as baby boomers are aging in mass.

Simply defined when we trip, stumble or are thrown off balance our ability to "catch" ourselves can be quite literally a life saver. The ability to right ourselves can not only save us from injury or even death but also the staggering costs of hospitalization and recovery.

The secret to recovery from falls is stimulation to the bottom of your feet. This helps build and maintain the information super highway between the feet and the brain. As we have stated in the past the feet are sensory organs which help ground awareness. Ground awareness is our ability to perceive what is underfoot and to appropriately respond to all types of terrain. 

If the feet have little or no stimulation one can lose the reflexive responses necessary to respond to the onset of a fall. Shoes and flat surfaces do not help the sensory functions of our feet. Shoes and flat surfaces dull the foot senses serving as a type of sensory blindfold. 

A disease like MS also mutes the response. The delay MS contributes makes the person's response just too late to stop a fall. 

What Diane demonstrated was an instantaneous reflexive response. The skin reflexes and the deeper proprioceptive reflexes acted together to fashion this response. Any delay in this reflexive response and you quite simply fall down. 

Reflexology stimulates the sensors on the bottom of your feet. But other things can help as well such as going barefoot or rolling your foot on a foot roller. 

You get the idea. Stimulate, stimulate, stimulate to make those connections grow. And good connections can serve you throughout life. 


1 comment:

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