Falls in MS, before and during treatment
I've added a brief page to my site about falls in MS before and during treatment - link here - and have taken the liberty of copying it here.Falls in Multiple Sclerosis, before and during treatment.
Falls are very common in Multiple Sclerosis; they are likely to be multifactorial [Cattaneo D, De Nuzzo C et al., (2002) Risks of falls in subjects with multiple sclerosis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 83 (6): 864-7.] They may result from weakness, from loss of sensation and proprioception, from vertigo. A prolonged reaction time may make the fall awkward. and prevent a controlled landing. And, until it is corrected, relative Vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis may increase the risk of fracture.
People with MS who are making good progress on treatment also remain susceptible to falls; paradoxically the reduced reaction time and the increasing strength and improving mobility may lead to risk-taking. Not all modalities return at the same rate, and during this period of subtle change falls through inadvertence are frequent. Also, some persons may well have C. pneumoniae infection in the inner ear; destruction of the organism may release endotoxin, which, until it is removed, may be expected to cause vertigo. (This is speculative, but it seems reasonable: endotoxic inner ear damage can occur after Gram negative meningitis.) The pattern is that of labyrinthitis; sudden turning of the head, particularly on looking up, results in rotational vertigo, which can result in a fall.
Don't rush, even if late. Use handrails. Stairs are the most dangerous things in the house. Don't let yourself be distracted while climbing or descending them.