Falling is a big concern for many with Parkinson’s. Also, fear of falling is a big concern for many with Parkinson’s. Fear can be paralyzing, causing freezing, and eventually falling, if one is consumed by fear. Today, I will discuss some dynamics of walking to help you to not be afraid and to help you avoid falling.
There are two basics that are the most important things to know about walking while having Parkinson’s:
1. ONLY walk forward.
2. Initiate movement forward with your feet, not your upper body.
There are two basics that are the most important DO NOT DO things to know about walking while having Parkinson’s:
1. DO NOT step to the side.
2. DO NOT step backwards.
Here are the steps (no pun intended) to follow to avoid falling when walking while having Parkinson’s:
1. Prior to getting up from the chair, make certain your feet are flat on the ground, shoulder width apart, and pointing straight forward.
2. Stand up.
3. Take two deeps inhales and exhales.
4. Assess your situation:
a. Do you feel dizzy or out of balance? If so, sit back down and practice breathing until it passes.
b. Are your feet pointing forward?
c. Is the direction where your feet are pointing the direction in which you wish to walk?
1. If yes, go to number 5.
2. If no, take small, “baby” steps in place until you are pointing in the direction you wish to walk.
5. Lift your foot to take a step forward. Do not initiate your movement by leaning your upper body forward. If you try to initiate movement with your upper body by leaning forward and your feet stick to the floor, then you enhance your possibility of falling. If you go to take a step and your feet are stuck to the floor, sit back down, take a few deep breaths, and practice lifting your feet off of the floor while sitting. Then, start at number 1 above and repeat the process.
These are the rules I followed for walking. I did not freeze, my feet did stick to the floor, I never fell, and sometimes, the best I could do was to shuffle. However, even though I was walking or shuffling slowly, I always got from Point A to Point B with no interruption.
I practiced this type of walking and shuffling up and down the hallway in my home so I could build confidence. This kind of confidence helped me get rid of any fear of freezing or falling while walking with Parkinson’s, and it helped me not be so subconscious about my walking in public.
Although the steps listed above might seem like a lot of effort to go through to make certain you do not fall, please know that you are absolutely worth it. You are worth whatever extra effort and practice it takes to avoid falling.
Doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® helps bring your life back into balance physically, mentally, and spiritually. Doing the Recipe and practicing walking helps you bring your life back into balance, bring your walking back into balance, and helps you avoid falling!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
THANKS a lot the advice is so helpful and encouraging i will surely follow those steps.
Howard, you are so right!! I would like to add something I learned from my three falls. It’s related to your counsel to take time standing up and keeping your feet facing forward. It is this. In each of my falls there was an element of rushing to do something. We are suffering from Parkinson’s and to a certain extent our adrenaline-driven nature is responsible for that. Before PD entered our life we were on top of everything, handling everything ourselves. I’m guessing that you, like me, still have a lot of that in you. It’s ingrained in our nature.
It is extremely important not only to avoid falls but for allowing dopamine to flow to take the back seat so to speak, and when things happen…Someone at the door? Pets demanding attention? Say, “OKAY”and stand still. If you are blessed to have a helper let him/her answer the situation. We must change our automatic reactions to life. There needs to be a pause before every action! There needs to be a look UP.
You don’t need to break a bone (like I did) to learn this lesson. I have to stop being a “people pleaser” and be a “people blesser” instead.
God bless my fellow warriors!
Thank you very much, Trish, for sharing your insights. I especially like and plan to remember,
“There needs to be a pause before every action! There needs to be a look UP.”
“I have to stop being a “people pleaser” and be a “people blesser” instead.”
Wonderful things to work on while we are recovering.
And many thanks to Howard for practical methods for walking without falling.
Love and blessings to all of my fellow warriors who comment so eloquently and all the silent ones whose hearts are engaged but find it daunting to put thoughts into printed words.
Pat, I find it daunting to put my thoughts into printed words! That degree of openness is scary. Also my tremors are inhibiting typing!!! Just want to thank you for your encouragement!
Thank you, Howard…I am so filled with gratitude for all that you offer and how much you care for us all. This blog post is one teeny example of all that you do for us daily, weekly, and monthly without any agenda. I salute and treasure you, dear soul. Yes, I have some difficulty walking so these steps are very useful…but it’s critical in acknowledging challenges that I remain optimistic and grateful for life (you taught me that). I am especially grateful for you Howard and for my amazing and dear hubby Ray (who handles 90% of all household chores so I can continue work that is meaningful for me)…Life is pretty good huh?
Thanks for the walking in balance tips — timely, as ever; slow walking can even be beautiful!
Thanks for this Howard. It was very timely as I fell for the first time a couple of weeks ago (indoors and no harm done, I’m pleased to say). My osteopath pointed out to me that I need to give my full conscious attention to walking in order to avoid falling, and that I should avoid talking while I’m walking as it distracts my attention.
Very best wishes to everyone,
Hi Anita, sorry to hear you had a fall, thankfully it has not phased you.xx
Thank you, Howard! This is priceless information!
Thanks to all who have given their thoughts and experience with this subject. We all have experience with this and can benefit from Howard’s words and wisdom to better avoid falls. With much love and gratitude Howard for all you do. I get out of patience having to do everything so slowly but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Thank you Howard, for this post, and thanks to all Warriors who post here too! Your thoughtful communication of your personal experience is helpful, inspirational, and enlightening.
Hi Howard and fellow warriors. Howard I tend to read the blog each week and then post to the warriors and you barely get a mention. I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the way you have made your life about helping others with this condition. You lovingly post each week selflessly and this blog truly is inspired by spirit. I now appreciate that you vetting our posts each week is to protect the site from undesirables, as the site has been targeted on many occasions and to protect this site , you have no choice but to vet what we all post, which is actually more work for you.
This site and you, have been a gift from God to me since the summer of 2014 when I was guided to you.
You have always been there for me and supported me on all my decisions. I have challenged you many times and each time you have honoured me with your truth in a compassionate but gentle way.
Long may this blog reach the world.
Pat said it beautifully in her last paragraph about our fellow warriors. I miss all the chats the warriors used to have. Chuck asked how everyone was last week and not one reply. I’m hoping the old reliables who used to post are all doing so well that they’re too busy now to check emails 🙂
If not, say hi! You know who you are and your spirit is missed on here.
Howard is the heart of this blog , but the warriors are the living heartbeat of this community. Big love to you all. To you Howard, I love you dearly. You ROCK and are one of my rocks on this journey.
Chuck, I’m doing great now that I am back doing The Recipe. Hope you are winning too my friend.
Karen, I agree…love the warriors posting here. All your experience is appreciated beyond words. And eternal gratitude to Howard of course!
Hi Karen in Ireland , great to hear from you and very nice post! I’m doing great . Life is good ! I love being alive ! I’ve been doing the recipe for two Years. In the last 2 months My energy level Has Increased and my neck has more flexibility . But the biggest change has been my attitude , i’m happy , Joyful and grateful for everything.
Love to all
That’s fabulous Chuck, may you continue from strength to strength.xx
Thank you Howard your posts are like a lifeline to me
Hello oldies and newbies I often send a comment rather late and sometimes it doesn’t appear, could be the technology! I love your comments too and find them so helpful
Totally agree with you Trish. Whenever I get that angry scared rushing feeling like I’m not going to make it or be able to do all the things I have to do I just sit down for a bit and meditate or even lie down. Then suddenly these things don’t seem so terribly important I relax and get things into perspective and stop trying to be so perfect.
This change of attitude is very important and is work in progress I feel like I’m changing the very way of being that caused this illness
Hi there old friend, great to hear you so positive.xx
O Melanie, don’t you hate that feeling? It’s FEAR (false evidence appearing real) Howard warned us about this!
I especially like what you said: “I am changing the very way of being that caused this illness” Very well said!
mantengamos la fe en nuestra recuperacion, Dios está en su interior! La energía más grandiosa del creador de la Tierra se encuentra en cada Ser Humano, justo adentro. Cada pieza de ADN tiene esto, 100 billones de ellas. Hay una conciencia e incluso una comunicación entre las moléculas de ADN que la ciencia ni siquiera sabe que existe. ¡Dios está en nosotros! Tienen que enamorarse de nosotros mismos! gracias Howard por tu ayuda
Keep faith in our recovery, God is within! The greatest energy of the creator of the Earth is found in every Human Being, right in. Each piece of DNA has this, 100 billion of them. There is a consciousness and even a communication between DNA molecules that science does not even know exists. God is in us! You have to fall in love with yourself! Thanks Howard for your help
Hi Jimmy great to see you posting gems of wisdom again 🙂 xx
Much blessing to you Howard and thank you for your endless caring for us.
Feeling lost and isolated today. Lots of changes in my life, very high stress level.
You warriors are an inspiration and encouragement to me.
Sometimes the Recipe seems like a lifeline.
Rock on, Howard!
Hi Judy, I don’t think any of us like change, but look to nature for a bit of wisdom when it comes to change. Look how effortlessly the trees let go of their leaves, they know and trust the process and know they will reawaken in the spring. You are never alone my friend. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. Hang in there warrior! Big Love my friend.xx
Hi Karen, thanks for all your encouragement. It means so much to me and all of us in this community. Luv you all, Beth
Si hubieran sembrado una semilla en la Tierra, una semilla hermosa, ¿acaso se alejarían? ¿O tendrían el conocimiento de que, al regarla, obtendrán algo más grande de lo que era? Que tendrá frutos y que, lentamente, se reproducirá. Ésta es la energía que hemos sembrado aqui en esta hermosa comunidad y haciendo la receta. Y va a crecer y va a tener su fuerza propia..nuestra recuperacion.
If we had sown a seed on Earth, a beautiful seed, would it go away? Or would we have the knowledge that, by watering it, it will get something bigger than it was? It will bear fruit and it will slowly reproduce. This is the energy we have sown here in this beautiful community and doing the recipe. And it will grow and it will have its own strength … our recovery.