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  • Frequent falls -- related to herniated C4/C5?

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    Old 11-25-2019, 07:07 AM   #1
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    Frequent falls -- related to herniated C4/C5?


    I fell yesterday while at my FIL's house, I tripped over his rug. My right knee cap is SO mad at me right now. This is probably my 5th fall (on that knee!) in a span of 2.5 months or so I'd say. I am klutzy, but this is way beyond typical for me! At first I was blaming my injured ankle, I have tendonitis and chronic ankle instability in my left ankle, and I was in a boot for 6 weeks, so I attributed a few of those falls to that, but now I'm out of the boot, and in a lace up brace to support my weak ankle, so honestly I don't think yesterday's fall had a thing to do with the ankle, and even before the boot and ankle issues, I had a couple of falls back in August.

    Anyway, I was in a MVA in 2017, a rear end crash where the guy slammed into me going over 50 MPH, and being that he was looking anywhere BUT the busy highway in morning rush hour traffic, he didn't even see me, so he wasn't even braking at the time or anything. So, all that to say, it was a pretty significant impact. I had three bulging discs in my first Cervical MRI (May 2017), and then my last neck MRI (Sept. 2019) showed one of them, C4/C5 was now herniated, the other 2 problem discs weren't that bad this time. I haven't seen the MRI report myself, but my doctor's PA went over the herniation at my follow up appointment. My main symptoms, other than falling, are neck pain and stiffness (mostly on the left side, where the report said the herniation was more prominent, also headaches stemming from neck pain, and shoulder and mostly radiating bicep pain. Now, however, I'm getting concerned that these frequent falls are also related to my neck issues, and maybe there is some spinal involvement. I have called my doctor's assistant line to ask if there was anything relevant in my MRI results to explain this, but I may not get a reply back for a couple of days. So, as I'm waiting I was hoping to get experiences from other people on this board, if anyone had similar experiences/symptoms, etc. Also, maybe there's something at play that maybe the MRI isn't able to pick up as well.

    Thanks for reading! Have a great day! --Mega

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    Old 11-25-2019, 07:48 AM   #2
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    JohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB User
    Re: Frequent falls--related to herniated C4/C5?

    Hi Mega75,

    You have raised an issue that could fill a book. Over a period of about 10 years I had 3 accident-injuries at home involving either falling down or falling (bumping) into walls. But I was totally healthy and eventually figured out that I just needed to slow down. And also I learned never to put anything (like boxes) in the path where I would normally walk. Tripping over something is always a risk.

    Anyway, there was a free course offered for people who had problems with falling and it was quite extensive. It ran for a couple hours every week for about one month. So there's a lot to it that I wouldn't be able to cover here. It was mainly about taking precautions and being more mindful.

    The older we get the more likely we are to fall. Another thing is that older people are more likely to be taking medications and that could be a contributing factor, depending on the medications. And, whether taking meds or not, it could be a neurological brain issue. Sometimes it's just about being distracted and forgetting to be careful. It's very complicated and can depend on many factors so it not easy to pin it down to one thing or another.

    Of course, having injuries can make it worse. So you may need to consider using a cane or walker etc.. or installing grab-bars in the bathroom.

    When we're young, multitasking is fine. We can do many things at once like rushing around doing and thinking about many things, and not concentrating on maintaining good balance as we walk. But that's not the case as we get older, so we need to retrain ourselves to always put our full concentration on maintaining good balance.

    I'm sure I haven't covered everything but I hope this will be of some help.

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    Mega75 (11-26-2019)
    Old 11-25-2019, 05:51 PM   #3
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    Re: Frequent falls -- related to herniated C4/C5?

    Thanks JohnR41! That's a really good point about being more mindful and cautious. I'm in my 40's, so while much younger than I expected to be facing this, I'm definitely getting older. My doctor's PA looked over the MRI again, and didn't think there was any spinal compression, so that's good news at least, but still leaves the mystery of why. I think it's most likely what you said about the injury throwing things off, and I've been under lots of stress lately too, which no doubt is a bit distracting, too. I'm glad you found that free course helpful in retraining yourself to concentrate more, and be more mindful of things. Thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it.

    Take care! --Mega

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