Trevis Gleason is one of my favorite bloggers. I’ve mentioned him before. He writes for everydayhealth.com. This week I saw a post that was actually written almost 2 years ago. But it caught my attention. The title was Faulty Proprioception: How MS Can throw You Off Balance. He details an experience when he experienced interrupted proprioception, or the sense of one’s place in the physical world. For me, it exhibits as a lack of feeling in my lower legs and feet.
He goes on to explain that a loss of proprioception can be a major contributor to falls. I had never thought of that before. But most of my falls happen when I’m standing in place. I am vertical and then all of a sudden I’m horizontal. I always thought it was my core strength that affected my balance. Which I’m sure it does. This opened my eyes to another cause.
Thinking of my experience with and leading up to needing hand controls in my car, I always knew that I had a loss of feeling in my right foot and leg. As we attempted to use an accelerator and brake with my left foot, I realized that the lack of feeling is the same in each foot and leg. When trying the left foot accelerator, I was not aware my foot was on the accelerator, and I was revving the motor.
Between swimming and my physical therapy exercises, I knew my core was strong. Recently, I had a very clear example of my lack of proprioception in my feet and how it throws off my balance. During the seminar at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, I stood up after sitting for an hour and a half or so and I could not find my balance. I kept rocking back-and-forth and forward and back on my feet. I finally had to sit down. It was rather scary!
I am really very thankful for other MS bloggers and friends I have made in the MS community. We can never think that we know it all. I don’t think the neurologists even know it all! I’m not sure if this knowledge will help me to decrease falls, but at least now I understand a little bit more about how they happen. And for that I am grateful!