Health & Wellness

All Can Fall

Falls Are Not Just For Seniors

Falls can happen anywhere, anytime. Falls are common among senior citizens and some even incorrectly consider them a normal part of aging.

But the truth is, anyone at any age can suffer a devastating fall as a result of vestibular system dysfunction.

The vestibular system lives in the inner ear and tells the brain where you are relative to your surroundings. If the vestibular system is damaged due to illness or injury, a person might experience dizziness, imbalance, disorientation, or even spinning vertigo, resulting in a fall.

Whether you’re 16 or 60 years old, if you have a vestibular disorder, take precautions to prevent a fall.

Alex ShaddockTeen Fights Back after Fall

Diagnosis: Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

Alex was an active 15-year-old sophomore in high school, playing soccer and hanging out with friends, until one day he wasn’t.

Soon after recovering from a virus, Alex fell in the shower. The vertigo was so bad he couldn’t get up.

“I called out for my mom and managed to crawl out of the shower to the toilet before I started vomiting. My family had no idea what was going on but we suspected it was from my previous illnesses,” Alex recalled.

Several weeks later, Alex fell again in the shower.

Watch this VIDEO of Alex trying to walk without a cane during one of his early Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy sessions.

Alex during one of his early Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy sessions.

“The world started spinning backwards like it had done the first time,” Alex said. “I was not able to walk at all without help, and the nausea returned.”

Alex continued to experience constant backwards imbalance and vertigo that would get worse whenever he moved. He didn’t even feel secure lying down.

“I would pile pillows around me so I didn’t feel like I would spin off the bed,” Alex said. “I couldn’t walk without a walker in the mornings and I needed a cane to get around the rest of the day.”

With the support of his family, friends and therapists, Alex is improving every day and taking big steps to getting his balance back.

Watch this VIDEO of Alex practicing walking without a cane during one of his early Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy sessions.

“If I could give any advice at all, it would be to never give up,” Alex said. “Get out and see your friends and family, do things you love and focus on getting better.”

#AllCanFall Shareable Memes

Depend on Vision

Depend on Vision: Our vision tells us where we are in space and plays an important role in helping us maintain our balance. When our eyes are not functioning correctly and/or are not working together, vestibular symptoms can arise. >> MORE INFO

Organize Your Space

Organize Your Space: Keeping your home safe means creating an environment where you can stay grounded and see what’s going on, using all your senses for better equilibrium. Vestibular patients benefit from spaces that allow them to use their vision and touch to compensate for their vestibular weakness. Take the "3-zone home safety assessment." >> MORE INFO


Train Your Reflexes: Balance is dependent on muscle strength and joint mobility. A sedentary lifestyle, painful arthritis, or diseases of bones and muscles can compromise strength and mobility, increasing your fall risk. Regular exercise, such as walking, strength training, and participating in Tai Chi, can go a long way toward preventing falls. >> MORE INFO

Find Your Center

Find Your Center: Performing balance exercises at home can reduce falls, especially if practiced several times a week. >> MORE INFO

Mind Your Feet

Mind Your Feet: Proper footwear plays a key role in preventing falls, especially in people who may struggle with balance issues. Learn how to choose shoes that are safe and support your mobility. >> MORE INFO