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  1. #1

    Falling in Braces

    Did you ever learn from your physical therapist in outpatient rehab to fall in braces as safely as possible? Many of us here ambulate around our homes ALL the time. I only imagine many of us fall from time to time. I have.... Thanks to God I haven't gotten hurt yet.

    Why not teach brace walking in a safe way?

  2. #2
    Excellent point. I was never instructed about safe walking in braces, and didn't think to ask - was totally focused on learning how to take the first few steps, never mind how to string them together into some semblance of walking. At home, 90% of the time I drag myself around with a walker because falling in a brace is such a scary thought.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  3. #3
    Great question.

    My Dad walks with AFOs (are those the braces you are referring to?) and crutches. He has had many, many falls, and amazingly has not broken anything. He has asked his therapists multiple times to "teach" him how to fall. Basically, they all refuse. They say you have to improve your strength and balance and do everything you can to avoid falls by modifying your environment, taking care etc... Once you have braces/crutches in your hands.... falls happen so quickly that it is nearly impossible to practice for them. But I think that therapists are very concerned with "practicing" falling in their rehab clinics. So risky, so potentially dangerous... it is a liability issue for them.

  4. #4
    I would think that NOT teaching how to fall, is the basic liability problem. And most of them don't have a clue how to fall. I've tried to karate school. They basically won't teach me anything...so far. But sooner or later, I'll find a martial artist that is willing to teach me.

    I'm referring to KAFO knee ancle foot

  5. #5
    A KAFO is what I have, too.I can't picture a safe way to fall, as the structure is so rigid above and below the knee - it seems like the bones would snap if a person fell one or two degrees in the wrong direction. I imagine it would be better to fall to the side for the sake of the legs, but then the hips would be in peril. PTs probably don't teach people how to fall because it would involve practicing the maneuvers in-office, and insurance carriers wouldn't tolerate that - but even some general verbal instructions would be helpful. There are so many KAFO models these days, designed to function in specific ways, with different joints and parts - it does seem like an instruction sheet, at least, would be provided (I'm actually surprised that insurance companies don't require this as part of their coverage for a PT's practice).
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  6. #6
    In the falls that I have experienced over the years with my KAFO/AFO's, The falls happen so lightening quick that there is no "safe"fall. I switched to using the roller walker instead of crutches around the house and office. The last time I fell with the crutches, it hurt. It hurt like hell. I had jus come into the office building while it was snowing, and the water from others coming into the building made the floor slick as glass. I hit the floor so swiftly, there was no reaction time. I jus laid there for few moments to do inventory, calm the spasms down, and gimp to my office. I swore off the sticks that day. They are permanently parked in a corner of my bedroom.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by graybeard View Post
    In the falls that I have experienced over the years with my KAFO/AFO's, The falls happen so lightening quick that there is no "safe"fall. I switched to using the roller walker instead of crutches around the house and office. The last time I fell with the crutches, it hurt. It hurt like hell. I had jus come into the office building while it was snowing, and the water from others coming into the building made the floor slick as glass. I hit the floor so swiftly, there was no reaction time. I jus laid there for few moments to do inventory, calm the spasms down, and gimp to my office. I swore off the sticks that day. They are permanently parked in a corner of my bedroom.
    I hear you! Crutches are so unstable on carpet and slippery surfaces around the house that they are downright dangerous. They'll go out from under you in a flash when there's the smallest bit of water on the floor, as happened to you. I, too, use a rolling walker in the house instead of crutches. Nothing else offers stability.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  8. #8
    look up PLF=parachute landing fall Being an ex juumper this knowledge has saved me a lot of problems
    /You could probabley go to the local drop zone and an instructor would help you learn.

  9. #9
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    The times I have fallen in braces usually involved crutches and a wet floor. Although I have fallen due to a weak trunk. I don't recall ever falling to the side. Usually it's face first or on my butt. I now wear RGO's which provides a back brace and I most often use a walker as well. I do use the braces almost every day for exercise. They're sort of my standing frame/exercise machine. It's a bit of work but I feel that it helps and is worth the effort.

  10. #10
    I've wiped out many of times and haven't been able to pull off the PLF. I may not think fast enough.

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