Falling Fear makes you cagey about stepping out

Kalron A, Achiron A. The relationship between fear of falling to spatiotemporal gait parameters measured by an instrumented treadmill in people with multiple sclerosis. Gait Posture. 2013 Oct 19. doi:pii: S0966-6362(13)00646-2. 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.10.012. [Epub ahead of print]People with multiple sclerosis (MS) identify mobility limitations as one of the greatest challenges of this disease. Continued loss of mobility and falls are among their greatest concerns for the future. Our objective was to determine if fear of falling is associated with spatial and temporal gait parameters in persons with MS, when measured by an instrumented treadmill.  Sixty-eight relapsing-remitting patients diagnosed with MS, 38 women, aged 40.9 (S.D.=11.9), participated in this investigation. Twenty-five healthy subjects, 14 women, aged 39.5 (S.D.=9.4) served as controls gait controls. Gait spatiotemporal parameters were obtained using the Zebris FDM-T Treadmill (Zebris® Medical GmbH, Germany). The Falls Efficacy Scale International was used to assess the level of concern relating to falls. Forty-one people with MS were classified as highly fearful of falling. Twenty-seven patients were slightly concerned. Highly fearful of falling patients walked slower had a shorter step length, a wider base of support and prolonged double support phase compared to slightly concerned patients. Fearful patients also demonstrated elevated variability of the centre of pressure (CoP) trajectory compared to slightly concerned MS patients. Fear of falling and spatiotemporal gait alterations in people with MS are linked. Additionally, variability of the CoP during walking appears to be connected with the level of concern.

Where’s Dr Ruth when you need her expertise. Obviously falls are an an issue for MSers and this can be detected using devices if you are fearful of falls you are more careful. It is important that you maintain good bone health to let you deal with some that can happen to all of us. Team G will testify that I did a swan dive at ECTRIMS in Amsterdam, it was like a sack of spuds falling

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  • I had physio exercises to improve my balance. It was in a gym, wearing trainers in a safe environment. It does not help in daily living. I fall over, lose my balance for no reason, so these exercises are not for real life. I'm an advocate of physiotherapy, but when it comes to falls it is not that effective.

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