Help for Wall Walking?

by M.

My balance is way off. I have to hang on to the walls and other things just to walk. Is there anything I can do to help this problem?


M.

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Feb 12, 2011
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Wall Walking
by: Anonymous

I used to use a cane only on the street, and used the walls to walk at home. I've now advanced to walking with a cane all the time. It's not pretty, but essential. I've fallen too many times, and I didn't want to leave fingerprints on the walls. :-)

Outside of that, physical therapy and gait training may help improve how you walk and limit your need to hold onto the walls.

Feb 12, 2011
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Mobility Aides
by: Akrista

Hi M,

Unfortunately, wall walking is one of the ways people with MS who have balance problems, get around in close quarters. Usually this is acceptable in your home or apartment where you don't need to go great distances. If you are going to the bathroom, for example, and it's just a few feet away, you can get away with wall walking.

If you don't feel safe doing this, then you need to get some type of mobility aide. This can be a cane, quad cane, walker, or rollator. If your balance is severely affected, you may need a wheelchair or an electric wheelchair to help you get around your home.

The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor or neurologist. They will probably refer you to a physical therapist (PT) and/or occupational therapist (OT). A therapist can help evaluate what you need to help you move around safely, whether it's in your home or when you're out and about.

As far as medication for balance problems, we don't know of any. Your doctor or neurologist may be aware of something that may help. Sometimes weakness which comes from not using your muscles as much, may cause you to feel unsure on your feet.

Unfortunately, nerve damage associated with multiple sclerosis, is more often the cause. So any amount of exercise you do, may not help the balance problem. It can help you to keep your muscles from atrophying. This is a good thing for MSers.

The main thing about exercising, is to do it safely. It took awhile for my husband, Cir, to give in and use a cane when he was still working. And even longer for him to use a walker. Now he uses a rollator for short distances, and when he wants to get some where quickly without expending a lot of energy, he uses his electric wheelchair.

It comes down to this - conserving your energy, keeping safe and not falling, and your peace of mind. If you spend your days worrying about whether or not you are going to fall when you walk down the hall to the bathroom, then it's time to make the decision of what type of mobility aide will work for you.

PT and OT can help you decide what you need, when to use it, and how to use it. They will measure you so that you get the right size cane for your height, or the right size chair for your situation.

Balance problems are nothing to play around with. A serious fall can mean a broken leg, or arm or even worse. Falls are preventable. If pride or vanity are getting in the way, you need to set those aside and realize that your safety is the most important thing.

Hope this helps and most of all Be Safe,

Akrista

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