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Adrienne Dellwo

Risk of Falling With Fibromyalgia

By May 25, 2012

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Research Brief

People with fibromyalgia frequently report problems with balance and coordination, which sometimes lead to falling. A new study is the first to examine falls as part of the experience of those with this condition.

Researchers assessed the fall risk by having 18 women with fibromyalgia keep fall diaries for 6 months. In that time, all but one of the participants fell or nearly fell. The median number of falls was 2 per person, with 3 near-falls. Only one fall resulted in an injury.

Fewer than half of the women reported severe symptoms just prior to the falls/near falls.

Common themes among the women included:

  • Always being careful or generally cautiousness
  • Fear of losing control of the body, especially connected to balance
  • Weighing desire to be active against fear of falling
  • Perception of being clumsy

Personal Experience

While this study likely doesn't surprise most of us with fibromyalgia, it's good to see the medical community start to recognize the severity of our balance problems and how limiting this symptom can be for us.

When your body amplifies pain signals, it's natural to become fearful of things - such as falls - that could cause additional pain. While in the study only one person was injured in a fall, I know from experience that something doesn't have to qualify as an actual injury to cause plenty of pain.

In any fall, your muscles are jarred and some part of you impacts a solid surface. That's going to cause considerably more pain in us than it would for someone else. Even nearly falling can be painful as well, as your muscles tense and fight to keep you upright. There's also a burst of adrenaline involved, which causes a symptom spike for many of us.

I've had minor falls and near-falls that have sent me straight for the pain meds and the couch, and have kept me there for a few hours or even a few days.

I didn't used to be clumsy, but since fibromyalgia hit, I definitely am. It's common for me to lose my balance and stagger, sometimes bouncing off of a wall or slamming into a piece of furniture. I've occasionally lost my balance on the stairs and had to sit down to keep from toppling over.

These episodes of poor balance don't seem to be connected to other symptoms - they just happen. Even with most of my symptoms in a long-term remission, I still have some balance issues.

Do you have balance problems? How bad are they? Have you found anything that helps? Take the poll, and leave your comments below!

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Comments
May 25, 2012 at 8:30 am
(1) Cheryl Richards says:

I have fibromyalgia and regularly fall, or trip over probably once a week, probably more at good times than when I am in a full blown attack.

May 25, 2012 at 8:43 am
(2) Kristy says:

This study helps to confirm what some have thought about fibromyalgia: that it is not just a condition that rheumatologists treat. It indicates that it also falls under the realm of Neurology. And yes, while I do have fibromyalgia I also have mild Cerebral Palsy. With that said I would urge everyone that reads this article to get a consultation with a neurologist and a Podiatrist. The reason for a Podiatrist is because if there is a structural problem with the foot that can affect one’s balance. The reason for Neurologist is also to make sure that there aren’t other things going on that can affect the brain which can also affect our sense of balance.

May 25, 2012 at 9:13 am
(3) Shawna says:

Well that gives whole new meaning to why I’m such a clutz!

I am constantly banging my head into cupboards and tree branches, staggering sideways for no reason while walking, and tripping over my own feet. I’ve even had a few scary incidents on my treadmill while trying to exercise!
The dizziness I experience, I’ve been blaming on my meds because it’s listed in the side effects.
Yes, I have a balance problem and it is from fibro. When I was young, I used to do gymnastics on the balance beam for pete’s sake!
The adrenaline rush does make me sick…
Just the other day, while riding in the care with my husband, he made a risky turn with oncoming traffic and it scared the heck out of me. When we got home, I was ruined for the rest of the day.

May 25, 2012 at 9:21 am
(4) Lynn says:

I fall or lose my balance often – I’ve fallen in our drive way. I’ve lost my balance in a store and grabbed a shelf and knocked things off trying to keep from falling.

May 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm
(5) miab says:

I am very clumsy at times. It seems to come and go in spurts and I never noticed but it probably IS during a severe flare.
Nov 2010 I took a VERY hard fall at a local gas station. I didn’t see that there was a shallow curb going coming away from the building and tripped on it while I was hurrying. I fell FULL force on hands and knees. And swear it happened in slow motion. I was in immediate horrible pain and could barely stand back up. An elderly gentleman came to help me (46 at the time) up. How humiliating! I burst into tears at the idea of being so frail. I said “I’m ok, thanks” and hurried to my car. I knew it was bad when driving the 2 miles home I was feeling woozy. I thought I shattered my knee cap it hurt so badly. But I was able to walk so didn’t think much after the 3 days it had me in bed. A month later my wrist still hurt and my hubby pressed me to have it x-rayed. Sure enough, it was broken! I had gone a month with a broken bone. My doctor was mad and asked how I didn’t know it was broken. I said “do you realize how much I hurt EVERY day?! A little injury hurts for days, I just thought this was because I fell hard and it would take longer”. I no longer have a good gauge for pain. When they ask “between 1 and 10″ I’m confused, it’s ALL a 10 all the time! Duh!

May 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(6) pat says:

In 2001 I was examined by a physiotherapist and he recommended me to use a walker because of my balance. I use it everytime I go out of the house because of the fear of falling. I know now it is because of my fibromyalgia. I have had many people say to me that I look like I do not need it and my reply is ‘do you know what my problem is?’ I would not use it if I did not have to.

May 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm
(7) Chris says:

I have not been dx with fibro, but have all the symptoms. I started falling regularly when I was about 50. I have damaged my knees horribly and my lower back if all messed up now. I have learned to be very careful and not get excited about anything because then I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing and usually fall. I started having leg aches when I was about 7 and would beg my mother to rub my legs almost every night. I was never able to do phys ed very well in school. I had no stamina. I do think fibro is partly hereditary because my mother and grandmother used to fall a lot and break bones.

May 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm
(8) Claire says:

I use crutches all the time when outdoors because I am scared of falling and hurting myself, my family don’t understand this and my Mum says I should stop using the crutches as it’s not good for my back but to me it could be even worse if I fall! The stumbling about is called “poor proprioception”, my other half is dyspraxic and some of the symptoms are stumbling, walking into things, tripping over your own feet. It also comes with cognitive problems with finding words etc. So we have always said that I have become dyspraxic since getting Fibro! My brother has started teaching me some Tai-Chi which he has said is great for the stumbling and almost falling as it teaches you about weight distribution in your body and using that to anchor yourself to the ground so that you don’t fall and if you almost fall you don’t hold yourself stiff you just distribute the weight to the other foot instead and stay upright without jarring your body, finding it hard to explain tonight but I could understand it when he wwas showing me!

May 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm
(9) Lynne Merrills says:

Since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia I have increasing clumsiness
and confusion. For example, I will put a key in the door to lock it and turn it in the opposite direction. I am always doing this which is quite dangerous as I am convinced I have locked the door. I have fallen a few times and am always having near falls, off balance and grabbing or falling into the nearest thing to stop me going in the floor.

May 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm
(10) sabrina says:

Hello,

I have had trouble with balance for years even previous to the severe onset of all symptoms. My legs knees, hips, and feet take the highest amount of injury. I walk into walls because I misjudge where they are and tend to stumble too.

: )

May 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm
(11) Connie says:

I have fallen down stairs in the last 10 years at least twice getting a severe case of “baboon butt” . My sweetie’s description of the bruising on my behind after the falls. Though painful at least it did bring some levity to a painful situation. Sometimes a good laugh can help with pain. Each time the “baboon butt” stayed for about 3 weeks and sitting was not an option for at least the first few days. I don’t seem to be dizzy just suddenly not where I thought I was spatially, some type of miscommunication somewhere.

May 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm
(12) nancy says:

So sorry to read that Miab, but we can all understand how you couldn’t distinguish broken bone pain from regular pain. Hope you made the doctor feel sheepish for what you live with all the time!

And I forget that my clumsiness is FM related. I thought it was from my age…67….and how I’ve deteriorated. I fell about 4 years ago and sprained both ankles badly. I rode an office chair around the house until I could stand. Also lost my balance rushing into the house….a mother’s day….feet flew out from under me and I hit my head on a sliding glass door. Wasn’t I lucky I didn’t break the glass! But it sure jarred my whole body and I was in pain the rest of the day.

I’ve learned to slow down when walking…..think all the time if I feel wobbly or not, and carry an iron golf club with a rubber covering on the top. I use this as my walking stick to balance me when stepping off a curb or just to lean on when stopping to chat.

May 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm
(13) Julia A Fontaine says:

I fall less now than I did a couple years ago when I had stroke like events caused by my meds. After 3x in the hospital and each visit resulting in a stroke work up, I was told after the last time that I had old scarring in my brain from a past stroke. I know I haven’t had a stroke, unless it was during my last C-section when the had to resuscitate me. There was no change in my abilities, all were normal as before the delivery. You can guess I now don’t think too highly of neurologists.

I had a great improvement with my feet and legs doing what they should, once I eliminated Cymbalta and Gabatril from my medicines. The shrink was surprised when I told him about the “not-stroke events”, and doesn’t give me any static about using St. John’s Wort for depression. It works for me as well as the Cybalta, better than the other common anti-depressants we are given. Only side effect is I have to be careful to sun exposure, it along w/ my blood pressure meds cause me to burn easily or break out from the sun. I take Valerian Root to replace the Gabatril to ease the nerve chatter, and it is also a mild muscle relaxant.

I use a walker outside of the house all the time, I have had my knees give out before, At home I use a walker when even I want to carry something such as laundry or chicken feeders. Since my walkers all have seats, I can use them to sit while cooking or shopping. I used to be embarrassed by them, but not anymore. I have a walker for the car, the house and an old beat up one for yard work, so it can get all muddy.

May 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm
(14) pjsterling says:

Walls, furnitures, friends and cabinets! Thank heavens for those or I would be on the floor a lot more. I can trip over a thought. I have had some spectacular acrobatic feats of falling – even in public. Try missing the curb with your walker and everything, including yourself, going flying all over the road in front of a ferry terminal loaded with moving buses?

I can’t believe the poll thinks frequent falls are 4 times a year. How about 4 times amonth, and then hundreds of almost falls? I hate the jerking that happens when you catch yourself to keep from falling. The tension does cause a lot of pain. I have a torqued pelvis and twisted leg which is my main disability, so I never thought of the fibro being part of the problem with balance. Glad to see the posts. I find that I have to walk very carefully and thoughtfully (which I don’t usually do)! When I rush, I WILL have a problem. My doctor told me that my new word was “meander”. That was 10 years ago, and I still find that hard to do and will have to consciously slow down in the middle of an activity. I use all the helps that I can and have to force myself to stay alert and be more aware of my surroundings and everything that I attempt to do. If we take a little more time to get up, to move, to reach, to sit down – we will minimize the unsteadiness and prevent most of the stiffening that causes pain. Don’t be ashamed to use mobile helps or friend’s arms. Thank God I finally started using the scooters in stores. I now have my own, plus use a walker and walking poles. I try to use them as little as possible, but if I am having a bad day – I don’t care what anyone thinks, I will use them. Pride causes pain!!

May 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm
(15) GrannyCFS says:

All of these symptoms about balance and falls, etc. just shows how much Fibro and CFS are very much alike. One of the first things I noticed was being completely clutzy in how I tripped and started falling a lot. Also, an example of upper body clutzyness is how I’d go to put a glass in the cupboard and how many time I hit the shelf because my hand/eye coordination was really off.

I finally got a diagnosis that I have neuropathy. My neurologist think its probably from having ME/CFS and fibro. Very little real research was done in the nearly 3 decades I’ve had ME/CFS “and” Fibro, but there’s so much that can be explained and treated.

The Fibromyalgia Network paper newsletter recently listing a lot ofs of treatment information but for ME/CFS nothing is forthcoming per se. I have to use a cane most of the time. If I have to do a lot of walking I use a walker. I wanted to have a red convertible in my senior years to be a “cool” granny. Instead I have a deep red walker.

But I’m really fortunate to have a fantastic doctor (ME/CFS & Fibro specialist) so I don’t complain about him. I don’t know how I’d be managing without his help.

So I continue to subscribe to Fibromyalgia Network so that I know that there is treatment for most of what we who are diagnosed with primary ME/CFS. My specialist is very good. But I get very out of patience with so much being said about not being treatment for ME/CFS when there “IS !!”

We are all so much alike. That was mentioned in a recent article as well. Perhaps between the research you with primary Fibro are privy to and the new research finally being done, we’ll finally see some help. But I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to enjoy it.

I was 44 27 years ago when I got sick.

May 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm
(16) Daphne Wallace says:

We need to move around, especially if we have arthritis. Balance problems is from not walking around enough. I do have problems, like yesterday, I couldn’t go from sitting to standing up, and had to crouch and hold on when going down bleachers. All of a sudden, I will just move the wrong way, and feel unsteady to correct it.

May 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm
(17) Michele says:

I feel a kinship with all of you, if we were sitting together I would be exclaiming “Me too me too!!!!!!” Today I ordered myself a “pretty ” cane. I am not comfortable and am embarrassed that I must use this, but it helps. Unfortunately what do you do when your hands hurt so badly and they and your wrists are so weak you cannot even use it? I tried to get a wheelchair to no avail. Have you all ever also experienced this…you are in the car, the driver suddenly begins to stop…then takes foot off brake. Do you feel as if you have an out of body experience..your body keeps going with the braking and has to find itself and get back in? It is very disconcerting. Bless you all!

May 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm
(18) Michele says:

I feel a kinship with all of you, if we were sitting together I would be exclaiming “Me too me too!!!!!!” Today I ordered myself a “pretty ” cane. I am not comfortable and am embarrassed that I must use this, but it helps. Unfortunately what do you do when your hands hurt so badly and they and your wrists are so weak you cannot even use it? I tried to get a wheelchair to no avail. Have you all ever also experienced this…you are in the car, the driver suddenly begins to stop…then takes foot off brake. Do you feel as if you have an out of body experience..your body keeps going with the braking and has to find itself and get back in? It is very disconcerting. Bless you all!

May 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm
(19) charley says:

It’s probably a good thing that I am now in a 1bdrm apt on one floor. I have taken several tumbles down a steep flight of stairs in my old home. And way too many to count in the driveway.

May 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm
(20) Susan says:

You cannot blame fibro for everything. Most people with fibro are on some or many meds. Meds have serious side effects. The only time I fell was while I was on meds. I have been med free for four years now and have not fallen once. In fact, my mobility is much better. I am no longer in a drug fog.

May 25, 2012 at 7:43 pm
(21) Becci says:

I wonder if the falling is more due to tiredness and fatigue rather than something going on neurologically.

When we have our bad days and are more fatigued, feet are more likely to drag and legs more likely to give way through tiredness.

May 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm
(22) Deb DAngelo says:

I also have Osteoporosis and have much anixiety over falling. I constantly lose my balance and stagger, fall into walls and furniture. I recently had to have a total hip replacement and this has not helped the balance issues. The replacement took care of the chronic pain in my groin and has helped me get a few more hours of sleep each night, but I now have chronic pain in my thigh that prevents me from putting weight on my left leg. Surgeon has said its due to my Osteoporosis and Fibromylagia. Prior to the surgery I asked the surgeon if the Osteoporosis and Fibromylagia would be an issue in my recovery and he stated “No”. The pain has intensified over the past 2 weeks and I am back to using a cane to walk with. Its been 5 months since my surgery and I am getting worse My Fibro was in total flare up mode for months after the surgery. I started getting some energy and strength back and now this. I was also told that my SI joint is inflamed and was prior to my surgery, but the surgeon never informed me of this. Originally told me that the pain in my back was from my hip due to degenerative joint disease. I have avoided the traditional medical field for years and am sorry I turned to them for my hip. Accupuncture and massage was no longer helping with the pain and was hoping this would help me get back on track. The surgery was tramatic and the recovery has been overhelming.

May 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm
(23) Denise says:

I am glad you brought this up – I often wonder why I have rounds of dizziness – sometimes I think it is from the degenerative disk disease in my neck – some bulging disks and stenosis – but even before that I have had times where I stagger like a drunk – and I don’t drink

I have even had times where I fell for what seemed like no good reason

Mostly I just get dizzy and have to lean for a few moments and wait for it to pass.

Thanks for bringing this up – you bring up symptoms I don’t realize are fibro things and it is a real relief to know it isn’t something scarier like MD or Parkinsons

May 25, 2012 at 10:07 pm
(24) Roberta says:

I have fear of falling also, it has gotten worse with age (68), but I’ve had fibro for 35 yrs. Last month I tripped over the vac cord and landed full body on my side on the laminate kitchen floor, very jarring. But it did help me decide that the floors in our new home will all be laminate, falling on tile would have been so much worse. When I was teaching it was nearly impossible to handle the bleachers for assemblies, administrators were not aware of my condition…couldn’t risk my job!

On a different vein, I’ve experienced eye pain/strain and seen the eye dr many times. they’ve been treating me for “dry eyes”. Finally, a simple test revealed that I produce enough tears, so they must evaporate rapidly. He inserted a plug in the rt eye, but the left duct is too small. I use Restasis twice a day, Refresh 4X/day and take two omega caps daily. It’s difficult to accomplish all this along with the other meds I have, my body requires too much maintainence! Are any of you experiencing this symptom?

May 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm
(25) Anon says:

I definitely “fall” into this category. My husband makes fun of me for it and I have all sorts of bruises. It’s not just a balance issue but perception as well, things are closer than they seem…

I must say though, since I started wearing Energy-Armor this symptom has been drastically reduced! I even sleep better and think more clearly. My aim is better too. The product is so fantastic i wear two bands sometimes when I’m having a flare day and it really helps. Since I have multiple chemical sensitivity i can’t tolerate much more than OTC pain relief. Thank goodness for Energy-Armor!

May 25, 2012 at 11:55 pm
(26) MVDeb says:

15 yrs ago when I was diagnosed my dr. said “If you don’t get ahold of it it will get ahold of you”. Catchy but b.s. It isn’t my fault how it turned out. He refused to give me any meds cuz the word at that time was no treatment, no cure. Well one night after eating dinner on the couch I stood up and fell right back down. I twisted my ankle and it swelled way up, and he said “Well now I HAVE to give you pain medication.” He also insisted and never changed his opinion that I just fainted because I had just eaten. I remember every inch of the fall to this day.
Just today I realized how much more often I need my cane to walk around inside. I’m dizzy alot more, and I trip over rugs. We have five cats, and that’s a nightmare sometimes. I don’t leave the house without my cane, and since I’m more selfconscious than I used to be, which was practically clinical, I pretty much never leave home. And of course, the more you use your cane, the more your hand hurts. Blah blah blah.
Michele-where I live our local Senior Center loans out wheel chairs, forever if need be, and a couple of high school kids started a similar service for people who couldn’t afford to buy stuff they needed for mobility. Ask around and see if you can find something like that. Good luck.

May 26, 2012 at 12:27 am
(27) Leslie says:

Balance is a much bigger issue for me than is pain. I have to be very careul not to fall. I always hold the rail when going down the stairs. I find that looking a different direction than the one I’m walking confuses my body greatly, and I have fallen a couple of times that way. I must change direction slowly and dileberately, or I’m likely to lose my balance completely. And I bump into things all the time. I have bruises all the time, many of which I can’t remember where they came from.

May 26, 2012 at 1:51 am
(28) Barb fiveash says:

Oh yes. So pleased to know that others find themselves staggering into furniture, and cautiously moving around just in case they fall. This is a cruel illness, because it makes us look as if we are fools or drunk. I see my bruises and think it’s like being in a war with my self. I’m really sick of this dreadful incapacity that absolutely no one understands except a fellow sufferer.And I’m sick of being nice and understanding about it.There is a limit.

May 26, 2012 at 3:06 am
(29) Foggy In MN says:

Thank you for giving us the info on this study!!! I thought, like some of you all did, that it was probably my meds for fibro/back pain due to an injury. I also used to do gymnastics in school, was a cheerleader, etc. Granted, I’m 50 years old now, but my grandma tried out my cousin’s skateboard when she was 80!!! In other words, I come from a very active family. All my older relatives are skiing, rollerblading, etc., & I’m doing good to just get from one room to another without tipping over! My hubby affectionately calls me his “little rambling wreck” and his “weeble.” I do wobble, but I don’t fall down! :-) Again, thanks for the info, it’s nice to know that it’s part of having fibro. Smiles, Sue

May 26, 2012 at 3:59 am
(30) deb says:

thank you all for your stories…i now know im not crazy! My diagnosise of fybromyalgia came 2 years ago and i am yet to find a doctor who can understand (just because my doc could tell me what i had…does not mean he understands) thank you all for validating me. gentle hugs and healing light.

May 26, 2012 at 5:10 am
(31) Carolyn says:

I have fallen numerous times. Once I even had to be hospitalized and have hand surgery. It always frightens me because in addition to fibromyalgia I also have osteosporosis. I also stagger and trip over things all the time and get dizzy a lot. I have passed out while standing, sitting down drinking my coffee and other times. Yes, I have told my doctor. This fibromyalgia in addition to the other health issues I have with my spine have changed my live and I am still trying to learn how to adjust after ten years.

May 26, 2012 at 11:03 am
(32) Mbloomer says:

I think that it is great to address this. I have had 3 friends die as a result of falling hard and hitting their head on a hard surface. I fell and both hips had to be replaced. I had experience with not knowing where the floor was. Needed to touch something at all times to keep oriented. turns out I had developed crystals in the coclea of my ear. The physical therapist did a maneuver that got my sense of balance back in 2 minutes. This after not being able to walk safely for 2 years. Things are not perfect but much improved. I still do better with a walker outside the house. Walkers and wheelchairs can be borrowed fro your local Soroptomist Club. They have other medical equipment also. Thank you for the suggestions on St John’s Wort and Valarian. It was likely my prescription meds that caused the ear crystals. I do much better with herbs. I also do potassium, magnesium aspartate which has helped my pain by about 70%. I find that the help that comes from fellow sufferers is more useful than most of the doctors recommendations. We understand. They cannot.

May 26, 2012 at 11:30 am
(33) EdanaDaithi says:

I too fall frequently, but I usually fall backwards, never trying to use my arms to catch my balance. The worst fall I had was shortly after we sold our large home and moved into this smaller one that had never had a yard or garden. Leaned over near an ancient cherry tree and fell head first down a hole under the roots where I wedged one foot really tight. I kept screaming for my husband, but of course he could not see me, and the brush covering the hole went back in place as soon as I slipped through.
If it had not been for my little dog standing there barking and refusing to shut up, that my husband got close enough to see the messed up brush. He slid down there because he could just see the soles of my shoes. No matter how we tried, he finally and to get a rope and drag me back out.
The scariest part besides being pitch black down there was that he had killed a rattle snake in the same area just a day or two before.
I have fallen out of the shower twice, even using shower shoes. There are too many times to count, but I have had a ton of bruises and about a month ago broke my toe, walking into a wall!

May 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm
(34) mj says:

For Michelle (18)

My mother had very weak shoulders and wrists so she found a walker that was much taller than usual and had a place to lay her arms. The handles were on top, at the end of the arms, and put no strain on her bad areas. Now I’m the one who uses a walker, but have never seen another one like hers. Might be worth you looking on the internet…someone must carrry them!

May 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm
(35) Kate says:

I have fibromyalgia and often loss my balance and bump in to things.

May 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm
(36) Gloria says:

@Roberta,

I have found that when my eyes seem to be DRY, my thyroid levels — Free T4 are usually not optimal for me. For most doctors, anywhere within the lab range is “fine”, but I need mine to be in the upper part of the range to feel well. The TSH that the docs like to measure does not always tell the whole story of where thyroid levels are since there are many factors that can influence it!! EX: Does the hypothalamus produce optimal TRH hormone to signal the pituitary to produce optimal levels of TSH??
AND are these hormones able to be received optimally by their receptors?

I could never figure out WHY docs would not test the actual Thyroid hormones!

May 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm
(37) Sandy says:

Four a year is frequent? Then what is one a month! I usually average at least 1 a month. And I usually fall forward and land on my knees. And since I’ve been on antidepressants for so long I can’t even cry when I do fall. Scares my poor dog when I scream, though!

May 27, 2012 at 10:03 am
(38) Sharon Levin says:

Falling is different to ‘being off balance’.The sensory integration part of our brain controls, along with vestibular ear movement determines our sense of balance. However, having said that, because the brain’s systems are dysfunctional, in or out of remission, when there is more stress/stressors/traumas in our lives, we as FM’s become ‘out of balance’ inboth these and the sesnory awareness/systems area of brain. Thus the bumping into things begins (again), the brain cannot be 100% cognicent and we topple down eg stairs, slip against a banister, bang into a door etc. Even when like myself one is 19 yrs in remission from all the worst of FM/Cfs/ME etc. I personally have found that being with a bio kinetisist has stabalised me much more, given core stomach and back muscles, quads, knees, feet stength to get up and recover very quickly. Exercise rehab is essential in FM. Don’t give that a miss! Sharon Levin http://www.fibromyalgiasa.co.za

May 27, 2012 at 10:10 am
(39) Sharon Levin says:

From Sharon Levin to continue: ASISTING US NOT TO FALL : OF COURSE KEEP STRESSORS 2 BAY. YOU MUST B ‘IN CHARGE’ OF YR LIFE, AND SAY ‘HELP’ +’NO’ WHEN NEC. Brain OVERLOAD will lead to becoming more off balance, so take many breaks from work, housework, baby, eat +drink 3 hrly of correct foods, never let Insulin hormone be without food ie. Dehydration occurs when sugars are not eliminated esp, and water not drunk enough, off balance is enhanced. Wear good fitted walking/sport shoes, not open slip-slop sandals. Be aware of YOURSELF, but NOT TOO WARY, that too will trip one up! Don’t take on more thatn you REALLY can – if you can’t manage, the ‘to-do list’ will wait….

May 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm
(40) Pat says:

I fell more when I was taking anti-seizure meds for migraine prevention than I do now that I do not take them any more. They made my depression worse and did not help with migraine at all.

May 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm
(41) JudyP says:

Not being able to walk a straight line is what eventually led to my diagnosis of FMS. I went to the emergency room because I was so dizzy that I could not walk a straight line. Two years later and multiple specialists telling me there was nothing wrong with me, I finally had the diagnosis from my PCP. Strangely enough, none of the doctors seems to recognize this as a symptom of the FMS, although nobody can otherwise explain it.

I have fallen three times in the last two years: one hit to the head meant a trip by ambulance to the ER (food poisoning), one was a fall onto my left arm outstretched to stop my fall (has led to an acceleration of my AC joint arthrosis – versus the right side – possibly will result in surgery), and the most recent: I tripped over the trashcan in my classroom in front of 27 thirteen-year-olds and landed hard on both knees. I have one more Occ. Med. appointment for this next week. My knees were one place that haven’t previously hurt me. My husband has the materials to install handrails on a flight of stairs at our house. I’m constantly bruised from clumsy walking, lifting, etc.

I do try to be more careful in my activities now, but refuse to let it stop me from doing the things I love, like gardening and teaching. The time I’m most concerned is when I start falling sideways in the shower. We keep a stool in the tub so we can sit, but I’m probably going to have to get handrails in there, too.

May 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm
(42) paatty says:

I get nervous in crowds because I know that if someone bumps into me I often lose my balance. I’ve always been clumsy, but the “wobbles” were not always a part of me. I suspected that the lack of balance was due (in part) to the fibromyalgia. I just wish that there had been a control group reported in the research. 18 is a very small sample to begin with and all 18 participants had fibromyalgia. In order to determine if the fibro was related to the falls/balance issue it would have been useful to have a control group of people wtihout fibromyalgia tracking their fall/no fall status as well. A larger sample would also lend more credibility. It’s a good start and it’s at least looking at what so many of us already know. Fibro is a complex and under-researched syndrome.

May 27, 2012 at 10:58 pm
(43) Kathleen says:

I too have become clumsier as my fibromyalgia has progressed. After I was diagnosed about 5 years ago, I went through a period in the second and third year where I fell 4 times in less than a year. The thing is I never really blamed my fibro or my meds as there were other things to take the rap. The first two falls occurred at my job. One I slipped on water and the other on melted ice cream. Both times I was doing something else other than watching where I was going. The first resulted in a twisted ankle and the second badly bruised ribs from landing awkwardly on my elbow. Another time I fell when I bent over to pick something up in my home. I was diagnosed shortly thereafter with a viral infection of my inner ear which caused violent dizziness. My point being that although I do have balance issues that I must assume are FM related, it is just as easy to blame my falls on other circumstances.

Not as easy to blame on other things is my reeling, staggering, and stumbling. I do find that reaching out to touch walls in a hallway, or even a person (hopefully someone I know, lol) next to me, as I’m walking, helps to re-establish my equilibrium.

May 28, 2012 at 3:30 am
(44) DOLLAR - SA says:

when i was young i use to fall when i play with others. years after that the dr said i have poly arthritis. i work for railway and use to go to the yards where trains are kept and i used to fall from my own feet. i was taken out of my normal duties because of my imbalance when i walk. i used to stress a lot thinking the is more to it. when i was a child no onw will play with me because i just fall and they will be blamed and punished. i am 39 yrs now and i avoid places with too much people because they make me dizzy and easy to fall. now i know i don’t suffer alone. to me it’s better when i wear running shoes at least my balance is better. like now it’s winter in SA and i become stiff and i hurt myself daily by twisting my ankles. i cannnot walk high stairs it hurts and when i finsh the last one i can easly fall. when i drive and come out of the car just like a normal person i fall.THANKS TO YOU ALL AS THIS HELP ME TO DEAL FM,PSORAISIS & RA.

May 28, 2012 at 7:56 am
(45) shosh says:

so sorry to hear that so many of you have these horrible experiences. i have broken both feet/ankles three times each. once both of them together, so could not use crutches – which i have actually never been able to use because of balance and sore hands. I have also had a compound fracture of my thumb which i did not have attended to as I am so used to paid. what was most scary about the last break – 3 years ago, was that I could not remember exactly where I fell or what caused the fall.

if it is of any use to anyone, I now do pilates, and yoga with the oldies and find that my balance has improved very much. I live on the 2nd floor of a building and walk or sometimes drag myself up these two flights ever time I need to leave the apartment. some days easier than others. some days of course I do not even leave my flat. if I have even one parcel I do not attempt the stairs. actually I cannot carry anything and have bought a small light weight cart which I use whenever I go shopping. I try to take someone with me when I do go shopping – a grandchild – or else ask someone to meet me to unpack the groceries as by then I am much too tired. my handbag is cloth with a long strap to go across my body so that I do not need to carry that either. good luck to you all.

May 28, 2012 at 8:52 am
(46) Lea says:

With fibromyalgia, I’ve had frequent falls and near falls too. I’m so glad that the “fear” of falling was mentioned, too as that also affects me. I’m particularly fearful at times when carrying the new grandson. The dizzy, off-balance feeling is with me almost constantly. Escalators and stairs are a challenge.

May 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm
(47) Carol says:

I seem to notice the klutz coming on during a weather change. I don’t seem to be able to miss the edge of a table, or edge of the doorway. I don’t seem to know where my body is in reference with furniture etc. I also notice that I am suddenly dizzy and then I get scared I will fall. Don’t ride a bike any more, use to roller skate with my grand kids and now I feel lucky to go for a walk and not lose my balance. I realize my age 69 could be playing a part but not this much. Glad to hear that I am not alone in dealing with this problem. Sometimes just hearing someone else say they are have the same things happen makes it easier to deal with problems.

May 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm
(48) SSM says:

I have fibromyalgia and I have a problem with my balance. I have fallen in the store, at work, at home.

May 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm
(49) Lenora says:

I have fallen a lot and have problems balancing all the time.I bump into things and have near falls everyday.I also have scoliosis but I think the clumsiness is from the Fibro.

May 28, 2012 at 5:58 pm
(50) Yvonne Hess says:

Yes I’ve had fibro for about 55 years. I am clumsy. I feel heavy even though my weight is good. I’ve fallen many times going up stairs, going down stairs and walking on flat surfaces. I’ve broken my ankle and tailbone. My balance is terrible and my feet hurt all time top and bottom. I fear getting on my workout equip. when home alone. I get migraines a lot and with that comes a floating feeling in my head, sometimes before sometimes after them. Sometimes it only last for a moment but I get really dizzy and off balance.

May 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm
(51) Linda says:

Yes, it affects my balance. I have had several falls. The last one a few months ago could have been serious as I fell down concrete steps, broke the handrail and landed in my backyard. Luckily, I only had a small cut and some bruising but was extremely sore for about two weeks. Not only do I seem to get dizzy but it is like I have trouble judging the width of the steps. I have to be very careful. I have also had falls in the house just walking to the bathroom and falling against the dresser.

May 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm
(52) Therese says:

Several times while walking down some stairs, one of my legs just “looses” strength and I have fallen.. Luckily this has been at times where I was at the bottom of the stairs. I am one of those “few” people who have had symptoms of Firbro since I was a child. When I walk next to a friend I always leaned against them for some reason to keep my balance. I actually (of course not on purpose) leaned so much on my second cousin when we were out walking that I “pushed” her down in a ditch. This went on all through my childhood, (not getting people into ditches) but this leaning on them. I tend to fall more when I have strong emotions, there is this condition that is associated with narcolepsy called cataplexy, that fits pretty well into those times when I actually fall, or just manage not to.

May 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm
(53) Debby says:

I’m so glad I found this site, for years I have been falling, amost falling, stumbling, I hav asked several dr’s and physical therapist, where I’d end up going for the injuries, no one could tell me why.. I am currently in PT for my last fall. Which makes 3 full falls this year, numerous near misses.

May 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm
(54) kate says:

I’ve had Fibro for 10 years now and I have noticed I can fall while walking on a level floor,walking upstairs,walking past a cabinet that has been in the same place for years, things like that.. It’s frustrating. The Fibro fog is more often now and remembering things always comes AFTER you need the information. I wish doc’s could figure something out,sigh..

May 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm
(55) Randy says:

I am a man with fibro. I too have had some near falls. My knees just buckle out from under me. I also teach Martial arts and have found that stanima training I do with this helps.

May 29, 2012 at 12:48 am
(56) Linda says:

I have Fibro and fall more regular than not. My balance is off and if I ever start falling I am normally not quick enough to stop the fall. I have broken my nose in walmart parking, splintered my shin at my house busted my knee in parking lot and many other bruises from different falls. Most of the times i think it is due to balance but have also tripped over things. I am very happy that this study has been done because I just thought I had become clumsy.

May 29, 2012 at 2:44 am
(57) teresa banks says:

I also had guillain barre’ syndrome in 1988 twice, i am also a redhead and have been researching the MC1R gene variant and pain in redheads. i went to the university of washington medical center for 2yrs, recieved no help. and this was 3 days after my last fall, also i didnt seem to measure the distance right and hit my back bad an hour later. so on the 4th i went to the doctors. i was also in a slow moving car accident that i was never seen for dec 20th. . I was point blank told i fall a lot, and how many doctors had i seen in the last month. I never went back, changed health insurance providers, clinics and doctors. now i am finally getting the care i need, gait problems are no fun, i even run into walls stil and have to make sure i watch where i walk or else i will hurt myself.
in california when the pain got to bad to deal with i was able to go to the ER and get pain relief, here in Washington state it seems like no one cares. Yet you can walk into a doctors office and 5minutes later have a Medical Marijuana Card. Makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
I am so sick of the stereotyping of people with FBS/CFS thinking that all we are is a bunch of drug seekers. Hell wouldn’t you, the “normal” person who doesnt feel pain daily go for pain pills when they are in pain.so why shouldnt we as chronic suffers be allowed to? All the data the CDC has regarding OD’s from prescription pills is from 2006, none of the date is current.
Oh and to top it off my pain levels are always so high, i broke a leg 4yrs ago, and never recieved treatment for it. I thought it was a sprained ankle.
Again if it make me a drug addict because my pain levels are so high and i want to die from the pain, then so be it, im a drug addict. i just want a normal life, where i can get up and move around, do things others can, and not have to sleep 20hour days because of the pain and fatigue. idk just had to put my 2 cents in, and yes i fall alot between the FBS

May 29, 2012 at 3:55 am
(58) Tara says:

NThanks to everyone for taking the time to respond. I didn’t know this was a fibro issue. I have had both cfs and fibro for 20 yrs or so. I’m 40 now. It sucks to have these symptoms but is very nice to know I’m not the only one. I have a laundry list of weird stuff that the docs can’t figure out why for most of it. Thought maybe I had won the jackpot from hell and had ms for awhile but didn’t show on the reg tests. Neuro (second one, first was an idiot) was very nice but couldn’t figure out “why’s” for any of it. Prescribed nortriptyline for some of it because it “might” help. I opted not to take it since the listed side effects were also what I would be taking it to get rid of and you have to wean off of it. Had to wean off Paxil years back and it was pure hell for about 6 wks. Don’t ever want to go through that again. Incidently Sandy, if you literally can’t cry, you might want to try another antidep med. I was like that on Paxil and life was so much nicer when I switched to wellbutrin xl. Anyway, I’ve been walking into walls, falling, near falling, walking in directions I don’t want to because my head feels so heavy it leads in another direction, and having my legs stop playing nicely with my brain for awhile now (among many other things) and nobody could say why which I’m sure most of you understand can get pretty scary. At least it helps to know I’m not nuts (at least not fore that reason ;-) ), although I truly wish none of us had any of it. Thank you for giving me someone who understands and knows this stuff is real. With such weird and random stuff it’s kind of easy to let the niggling doubt rear up, whispering in your ear that maybe it really is just all in your head. Thank you for helping me fight that obnoxious little cretin!

May 29, 2012 at 5:51 am
(59) Mary T. says:

Since I fall and near-fall so often (and sometimes very hard!) and I live alone, I splurged and signed up for the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” service. I used to laugh at those commercials, but I sure don’t any more! I haven’t had to use it – yes, I’ve fallen but no serious injuries – but I accidentally set it off once and I can confirm it does work! (the customer service rep was very kind and didn’t yell at me). And it’s works up to 600 ft from the house, so even when I’m in the yard or driveway (I fell once taking out the garbage – boy, concrete is very unforgiving!) it’ll work. I frequently just stagger and hit walls, too, so I’m always battered and bruised. It’s been a problem since before I was diagnosed with FM/CFS, and now I know why. Somehow it’s comforting to know there is a reason for the problem, rather than just being clumsy.

May 29, 2012 at 7:10 am
(60) Pam says:

Good to finaly have a “reason” for my falls & poor balaance issues. Has anyone elso had problems with visual claritiy that comes & goes- after a neurologist, opthamologic neurologist and many expensive tests all I have gotten from Dr.s is “We don’t know why”….. Frustrating. Can’t be from meds because I only take ibuprofen or naproxen. Can’t be from lack of physical exercise because I am a nurse in long term care and am very active at work as well as normal housework stuff at home. Have had Fibro for years according to the Rheumatologist that diagnosed me 8 or 9 years ago. Maybe I should go back to her.

May 29, 2012 at 8:37 am
(61) tricia says:

Everyone needs to get your b-12 levels checked.mine was 200 that’s why I was dizzy and falling all the time. Iam only 36 but I made dr check he has no idea why its low. Weekly shots for the rest of my life now.once you are deficient you always are the rest of your life.other countries standards are higher 500 and up that’s what I stick too cauz even at 200 you can have horrible symptoms and permanent nerve damage

May 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm
(62) Connie Hall says:

My Gosh!! This is all sooooo interesting. Kind of scary for sure. I have had lupus/fibromyalgia for many, many years… and have been so horribly sick for the last 2 years now. My new rheumatologist just found out that my B12 was down to 168. my Vitamin D was very low also… so I’m being treated for both now. This is the first that I heard anything about it going along with fibromyalgia. I’m so thankful for sites like this that people can share their stories. I say that, as not just I have this… but my sister and young daughter both have it too. Thanks for sharing.

June 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm
(63) Sara says:

Yup, I fall easily and always have a bruises from bumping into things. I’ve had broken ribs & both of knees have had torn cartilage. However, I have found a way to manage the situation a little better.

Get up more slowly from sitting or lying. I also have problems with positional hypotension and taking in more water and salt helps. This will not work for anyone with heart or BP problems so check with the doc first.

Lose weight. I gained over 100 lbs from inactivity and have lost about 93 of it. My balance has improved along with blood sugars. I’m bumping into things less often and grabbing walls etc less often.

Yoga. I started doing it regularly a year ago. I do a GENTLE yoga class 2-3 times a week. My IT bands are nearly pain free AND balance is a lot better. Make sure it is called gentle, therapeutic or vini yoga.

For wheel chairs, etc go to estate sales. They frequently assistive devices because the person who died was elderly and frail. They are cheap especially if you go the 2nd day when things get marked down. You can leave a “bid” and they will call you if no one buys it at the asking price.

Quit taking meds that don’t help or make you worse! All SSRIs can mess with your heart. Less dizziness now that I refuse to take them. Cymbalta, Lyrica and SSRI antidepressants did no good, had horrible side effects and I became toxic.

June 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm
(64) Sara says:

In addition….

A couple have mention dry eye problems. This occurs with aging but can also be a sign of other eye disease. I was diagnosed with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy, a genetic disease but dry eye is one of the symptoms that develop. Many regular opthamologists either don’t recognize Fuchs or fail to mention it to the patient because they don’t think anything can be done until you go blind. It is a very paternalistic attitude not to inform people and these people should be backhanded!!! It is not their right to withold information just because THEY are ignorant. There is!!! You do not have to wait to go blind!!!

See an eye doctor and if you are over 40 ask them about Fuchs because that is usually when it starts to show up. You get it from a parent but it progresses differently in everyone and they may not have known they had it, especially if they died young. It is rare but it is the leading reason for people to have corneal transplants. It has nothing to do with Fibro but I find that vision problems certainly make the problem of falling worse.

June 5, 2012 at 11:34 am
(65) Shelley says:

I experience balance problems, and I never associated it with my fibromyalgia, I just thought I was clumsy. I have always felt “awkward”. There are times I am walking, and I will stumble for no real apparent reason. I have run into furniture, or lost my balance and into a wall. I’ve even blamed the footwear I was wearing. Overall, my cooridination is awful, I can’t even throw a ball right, if I am for one direction, it goes in a totally different direction. Bowling is great, I have tried to do that, besides having a bum arm, I usually drop the ball before I even get to throw it, or when I do release the ball, for some reason, it goes in another direction… there are so many little things that I have been experiencing with my fibromyalgia, I just hope that there are no more symptoms that pop up along the way, I’ve just turned 44, and I just feel like every day, my body is shutting down. I am tired of being in pain… and tired of the sensitivities to light, sound and smell…. I”m getting to the point where it is a struggle to get to work every day, and stay at work.

June 11, 2012 at 12:53 am
(66) kirsten says:

I feel yesterday and now it not only id badly brusued. but I am having a sharp pain im arm

June 20, 2012 at 11:07 am
(67) Karen says:

I use a hiker’s staff. This is very lightweight, adjustable and collapsible.I don’t need a cane to take weight, I need the staff for balance. I never leave the house without it. Because i never know when I am going to topple. I hope you’ll try one. I got mine at an outdoor store (REI) and you can order them from EMS,etc.

June 20, 2012 at 11:07 am
(68) Karen says:

I use a hiker’s staff. This is very lightweight, adjustable and collapsible.I don’t need a cane to take weight, I need the staff for balance. I never leave the house without it. Because i never know when I am going to topple. I hope you’ll try one. I got mine at an outdoor store (REI) and you can order them from EMS,etc.

June 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm
(69) Lisa says:

I’ve fallen several times and broke my right wrist and hit my head hard in January . My legs seemed to have muscle spasms and lock up without any type of warning at all.This scares me because I have a 5 month old Grandson that I love to keep. Anybody else have this type of fall.

July 8, 2012 at 5:20 am
(70) Judy says:

WOW, I never thought that my loosing balance, falling or dizzyness was related to Fibro. Amazing, Thank you, it helps to know, I hope I will find a way tohelp myself!

July 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm
(71) maureen says:

I have been experiencing balance problems for months trying to ignore it thinking i’m just being clumsy staggering and feeling as if the room is spinning. Having spells of just not being there hard to explain then feeling faint and dizzy after it. I have had the condition for over 15yrs now probably longer but as with everything and age it seems to be deteriorating at a rate i’m not happy with i now have had to get rails ect., put up in my house and apply for an alarm to be put into my house.
Went to G.P. the other day he thinks it could be something to do with my inner ear never gave it a thought that it could be related to fibromyalgia when will it ever stop this condition has so many traits to it you can’t keep up with them.

September 18, 2012 at 1:01 am
(72) sara says:

i’m 30 years old.I am beginning to lose my balance when walking in high heels I’m getting dizzy, my heads start spinning. when i walk i feel like everything ground is moving. i just keep loosing my balance. i’ve been having problem going up and down on stairs since i was 9. i still can’t keep my balance on stairs so i always have to hold on something . i have to do it really slowly because i feel like i will fall. but i never had problem walking. it just started since couple months ago.

October 3, 2012 at 10:58 am
(73) Ruth says:

I feel trapped by my family doctor it does not like me to see in the other doctor except for him and not even go to the ER he doesn’t even want me to see my rheumatologi he also says you do not fall from fibro.

December 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm
(74) Jodi says:

Thank you for sharing this information. Although diagnosed, I was relatively symptom free for many years and then it hit. Exhaustion, fatigue, brain fog, aches…and balance problems. I have been searching for answers. My ENTs and Neurologists have all come up with nothing. This gives me new insight that will hopefully lead to a better quality of life. I am almost always off balance. The more tired I am, the worse I am. Reading everyone’s comments makes me feel like there are people who understand. It is so frustrating when your body won’t do what you want it to. Thank you for making me feel a little less alone today.

December 13, 2012 at 9:31 am
(75) Elle says:

I have to say I trip,stumble, walk in to doorways, corner of counter ect. I have brusies on my legs and feet. I on average fall down 3 to 5 times a week. I roll my ankles a lot , I walked into a tree branch thought I duct enough,but no bam in the head, I felt so stupid cause there were people around. I cant blame cause I am not on any due to medicine sensitivity ..

January 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm
(76) Deb says:

Hi, I think I have fibromyalgia but no doctor can diagnose I also fall or slip and I never used to be like this, I am also very aware just walking anywhere that I could fall, its terrible because u are constantly in pain and also u have to watch your step. Also worried in the shower.
Tripping is very common as well the doctor cannot tell me what this is have many test and was wondering what painkillers u guys used because I have tried many.

Thanks Deb

February 28, 2013 at 9:29 am
(77) Melissa says:

I have had fibro for about 10 years (dx about 4 years ago). I have fallen many times, & have had many near-falls. For awhile, I thought it was due to one of my meds, but then I noticed it was happening when I wasn’t using that one (its a night time med, helps me sleep), too. When I walk down our hallway or stairs, I know I must look drunk, staggering into the walls or missing a step on the stairs. I am glad to know that I am not alone. It’s good to know that is seems to be a symptom of our disease, & not “all in my head.”
My husband, who is an amazing blessing, gets real worried about my dizziness & lurching around, he is afraid that I am going to fall down the stairs one day while no one is home to help me. Actually, I kind of worry about that myself. Thank you so much for sharing this information…I feel a little less crazy now ;)
Melissa

March 8, 2013 at 8:51 am
(78) Julie says:

Agree with other comments – thank you all for posting on here. I felt so sad that things were getting worse as my legs just give way. Definitely feel less alone (and a bit saner).

June 28, 2013 at 4:03 am
(79) Robyn H. says:

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 2 years ago and suffer from unsteadiness so much that I now use a cane. I also have other issues that contribute to the unsteadiness as well. I have the feeling that the messages to and from my brain are not always connecting because sometimes my feet are not always where they should be to keep me balanced.

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August 21, 2013 at 9:33 am
(81) Lmarie says:

Yes! I had no idea it could be yet another symptom of Fibro. My family thinks I am becoming a pansie not wanting to do all the active things I used to and that they still do but I’m always afraid of falling. Recently while on vacation in the Black Hills, I fell twice and for no apparent reason. I was walking on a flat straight sidewalk the first time and the second time there was a sligh incline in the sidewalk and my ankle must have been weakened by the first fall that I really fell hard the second time. I also have Meniere’s so I’m never sure if the unsteadiness is from that or not but ALWAYS feel unsteady, light headed, unbalanced in my step etc.

September 20, 2013 at 9:03 am
(82) Lexi says:

I am pianist and teacher. I have fibro and osteoarthritis. I took a massive fall yesterday in one of my schools. My left knee is twice its size very bruised and painful, as is my left elbow. My right hand is swollen around the thumb and palm so I can’t practise piano and my whole body is stiff achey and incredibly painful. I still feel in shock. Even with fibro and arthritis I’m incredibly active still doing much walking ( even doing Snowdon this summer) and I eat very healthily to maintain energy levels etc. But this fall has completely knocked me about. I’ve had to have a rest day although have some pupils tonight. I am 38 but feel as if I’m elderly today such was the fall. Any help for quick recovery gratefully accepted.

September 20, 2013 at 9:06 am
(83) Lexi says:

I am pianist and teacher. I have fibro and osteoarthritis. I took a massive fall yesterday in one of my schools. My left knee is twice its size very bruised and painful, as is my left elbow. My right hand is swollen around the thumb and palm so I can’t practise piano and my whole body is stiff achey and incredibly painful. I still feel in shock. Even with fibro and arthritis I’m incredibly active still doing much walking ( even doing Snowdon this summer) and I eat very healthily to maintain energy levels etc. But this fall has completely knocked me about. I’ve had to have a rest day although have some pupils tonight. I am 38 but feel as if I’m elderly today such was the fall. Any help for quick
recovery gratefully accepted.

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October 29, 2013 at 8:41 pm
(85) Tricia Tomlinson says:

I have had a balance problem for years now, but I am finding I am falling more now I am 61. I have had to have surgery after falling a few times, and had to attend A&E many times to be treated.

Last year I underwent a “tilt test” and was told that my blood pressure suddenly drops and that is likely the reason for the balance problem, but now I know its connected to the fibro.

I have been diagnosed with the fibro about 15 years.

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November 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm
(89) Cyndi says:

I have begged my MD for 6 months (I am a nurse) to let me have a neuro consult because I keep falling to the left, 2-3 times per week. She nor her cohort will not refer. She is 2 years younger, pats my leg & says “you will get better”. BS. Been dx’d with osteo & fibro x 3 years & in horrid pain. Opioids do not work…true…Arnica gel helps, but the ASA and arthritic drugs give me stomach ulcers. What is the matter with these MD’s? Mine was educated at KU a& I found out they educate their residents that people who have fibro are “crazy”. Welcome to Kansas :(

November 28, 2013 at 1:41 am
(90) Maria says:

and i just found out that i am having this.. :( i fell all the time especially in stairs even sometimes climbing up the stairs.. i badly injuired myself so many times.. and whats worst is I drop things. i will drop almost everything…

January 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm
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February 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm
(92) Sunny CA says:

It’s interesting – good to hear from such strong older folks who are gardening and moving around with this disability. So far, as long as do my best to keep fit and get enough sleep, I’m doing ok with fibromyalgia. I haven’t had a complete work up yet – my mom has it, and neither of us like the inevitable prescriptions and arguments about prescriptions — and we both have a very high pain tolerance. So we have swelling, a bit, need extra sleep, and feel, sometimes, like we can’t move. Joints hurt — we use aspirin, arnica, Valerian, anti-inflammatory herbs and foods (fish, fish oil, fermented foods, ginger, chamomile tea, veggie juice.)

However, the neurological aspect really different. I work in a sedentary job – good because it’s low demand on my body, but bad because I can get out of shape. When I sit too much, I feel dizzy. If I walk regularly, I feel better. Falling seems to have nothing to do with either.

Falling is like — I’m walking and my knees fold, and I’m on the ground. I took some classes in Tai Chi and martial arts when I was young and can usually break the fall with my arms and roll. Sometimes, there’s no nerve signal in my arms either Usually I seem to have enough body memory of how to fall to at least roll, or reduce the impact. And sometimes I can’t get up for a minute — nothing responds to my desperate effort to move. It is most unsettling. So far, it’s only happened a few times, with a year or more in between. I probably will eventually have a neurological workup, but I’m not sure they will be able to help. And the bottom line is that if things make my life worse, they aren’t worth it.

March 3, 2014 at 8:03 am
(93) Lauren Smith says:

Hi, I know this post was years ago, but I have just recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It was about 3 months ago. I asked about my strange pains and dizziness and falling out of the blue. My doctor tested me for RA and Lupus and then confirmed the Fibro. Since then it seems to have progressed very rapidly. Has this happened to you or anyone else? I went from getting dizziness upon standing to almost always being dizzy. I’m falling so much that I am now walking with a cane and my doctor wants me on a walker but I’m not ready for that yet. I’m 36 and the thought of a walker makes me want to cry. The cane is hard enough for me to feel confident with. I always get asked about it. It seems no one sees me, just the cane. So I just did a search for Fibro and falling and found your post here. This did answer my question about if the falling is related to my Fibro. I also have IC (interstitial Cystitis) so I have been dealing with pelvic, back, and thigh pain for years. The Fibro pain is different though. Very sharp, stinging pain in my knees and down my legs to my feet and tingling in my toes. My shoulders get a deep burning, stinging feeling and my back is hurting in more places than it was before. My hands are becoming nearly non functional. Are these symptoms familiar to you? I haven’t talked to many people with Fibro. And I haven’t seen a neurologist or rheumatologist yet. They are putting me through PT for my IC first. But I think I need an MRI. Thank you for posting this article. It was very helpful!!

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