GETTING UP AFTER A FALL (without kneeling)
One reason it is so difficult to get back up is because our knees are so sensitive and most people recommend that you kneel at some point. Nerve endings are very close to the surface of the front of the knee, making it often really painful to kneel. Kneeling on a solid surface hurts. And if you have fallen on gravel or rock it is even worse. If you must kneel, an easy way to alleviate the pain of kneeling is to place something under your knee to pad it, like your sweater or coat folded up or even your pocketbook.
Scooting: If you have had a fall and it is safe to move, “scoot” over to something substantial like a sturdy chair or piece of furniture before trying to get up. Scooting is done by sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you and using your hands to move yourself backwards. You are actually pushing your hands against the floor to lift the body up and back. (All resources I checked on the Internet recommend that you crawl over to a sturdy chair to stand up. I do not recommend this. It’s unnecessarily painful. Scoot over to the chair instead. Scooting is safe and much easier on every part of the body.)
Traditional method of getting up (pull yourself up):
- Always first determine if it is safe to move.
- Scoot over to a large, sturdy chair or piece of furniture.
- Kneel on one knee as you put the other foot flat on the floor. (I suggest that you put something under your knee first.)
- Use your arms to pull yourself up.
No knees method (push yourself up):
Push yourself off the floor instead of pulling yourself up: When practicing, have someone with you to assist.
- Roll over to one side with your legs folded over. Place one foot flat on the floor in front of the other leg (which remains folded instead of kneeling).
- Place both hands flat on the floor to your side.
- Use your arms and hands strongly to push yourself off of the ground. Try a different position for your hands if you are having difficulty.
- After pushing off the floor, move your hands to your knees or to the sturdy object to continue to push yourself upright.t is very important to focus your eyes during the whole process to keep from getting disoriented. Do not tilt your head forward toward the ground. Keep it upright as much as possible.
Exercise and Fall Prevention: Did you know that a regular exercise program prevents falls exponentially! This is especially important if you have had a fall. When we fall we often are afraid we will fall again. This fear will actually increase the likelihood. Having a fall is a wake up call to make some changes. And the best change of all is to become more active...not less. When you take balance classes, you become more nimble. You are more able to step aside or adjust to unexpected conditions.
One student of Building Better Balance who has advanced arthritis mistakenly stepped into a drop off living room and did not fall or injure herself! Her body adjusted seamlessly to the extreme change. She attributes this success to taking my balance classes.
The Building Better Balance series helps seniors dramatically reduce having falls through exercise. Each of the 4 DVDs contains description that makes doing the exercises more meaningful and effective. There also are many helpful captions on the screen throughout the entire series that make it easier to do the exercises safely and well. Instruction is clear even for hearing or sight-impaired students. So much information regarding how to prevent having falls is included that the DVDs are valuable even if you only watch. All 4 give you a complete program on easy ways to use exercise to age well, making our golden years really golden.