Falling often? Learn How to Get Up Safely in a Way That Suits You!

In a previous blog post on WPT, Rachel Dziak PT, DPT, ATC talks about falls and ways to prevent them! This topic is more geared to if you have a fall or are a frequent faller how to get up safely, securely and decrease risk of further injury.

Below are videos of safe ways to get on and off the floor as well as multiple fall recovery techniques that suit you! This means there’s a technique if you have trouble getting onto your hands and knees; trouble with your shoulders or your balance! If this sounds like something that would help you please read and watch further!

This first technique is if you feel pretty strong and typically don’t need anything to perform a floor to stand transfer. In the video you will see me, Sara Ryan PT, DPT, ATC getting down onto the floor using a safe technique and then moving through a safe technique to stand. Most of these techniques follow the same start as listed below:

  1. Check for injury: move your head, arms and legs around making sure there is no significant injury to your extremities, neck or head. In some cases injuries to your neck, head or extremities would benefit from you remaining still and calling for help versus trying to get up and causing further injury.
  2. Start to move through the motions of sitting up by bending your dominant leg, reaching up with the opposite arm and rolling to your side. Then you will use your top arm to support you and help you get into a side push up position. Next you will move into a hands and knees position.
  3. Standing! If you feel confident you can now move your dominant leg forward, in the video this is the right knee, brace your arms onto your leg, lift with your legs and stand.

Technique for those with weaker lower extremities or balance difficulties:

This technique follows the same steps 1. and 2. As listed above but for step 3. Instead of resting your hands on your knees to stand you want to use something stable such as a table, couch or chair to brace your upper extremities on to help you complete the transfer.

Technique for those who have a stronger upper body, weaker lower body or difficulty getting into lunge position.

In this technique step 1. And 2. Are the same you are then going to crawl to an object and move back onto your butt with a stable surface such as a table pushed against a couch or a couch. This technique you will reach your hands or elbows behind you which requires good shoulder mobility and strength. You will then tilt back utilizing a bridge technique and “shimmy” onto the couch until you have your sits bones to the point where you can shift to sit up

** Part two of this technique is if you do not have the shoulder mobility to strength to reach up onto the couch. If you are able to sit on a couch cushion, stable stack of books or a stool. This will break the technique up into two steps requiring you to move your shoulders back less and less shoulder strength to complete the transfer.

Technique for those who may have trouble bearing weight onto their knees or are unable to get their hips into the “lunge” position.

In this technique 1. And 2. Are the same but once you get to hands and knees you are going to straighten your legs and put all your weight into your feet and walk your hands back until you are able to shift all of your weight into your feet and stand up or walk up your legs to stand.