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I can’t get up! Help!

(27 Posts)
Esspee Fri 06-Aug-21 14:55:54

I squatted down for just a few minutes to organise the bottom shelf in my larder and then couldn’t get up. Somehow my legs didn’t respond and I was stuck. I had to pull myself up on furniture in a most ungainly fashion.
I do remember my mother telling me it happened to her but can’t remember what age she was.
Does this happen to everyone? Can I risk it happening again?
Is there anything I can do to reverse the situation?
Help needed fellow grans.

tanith Fri 06-Aug-21 15:09:43

It does seem to come as one ages i like to think I'm maintaining strength by walking a lot but i still need to have something to hang on to to help me up from kneeling its always ungainly.

Blossoming Fri 06-Aug-21 15:10:10

It happens to me quite a lot, because of my impairments. I have to make sure to keep up my core strength by doing my physio exercises. I have to roll/heave myself into a kneeling position then bring each leg up, then kind of use my hands while I straighten my legs. Not the same as your circumstances but thought it might help. There are videos on YouTube showing the core exercises and the ‘getting up off the floor’ technique.

Liz46 Fri 06-Aug-21 15:10:21

This happened to me recently and I think it may have been partly caused by me getting less exercise when shielding.

I had an email from our council asking if I had developed this problem after shielding and so I responded.

There is some sort of coalition between the NHS, Medequip and our council, the idea being to prevent falls.

I was visited by a nurse who pronounced me very healthy and then a physiotherapist who started me on a Home Exercise Programme.

Classes will start again in September but I think I am one of the fitter ones so probably won't get a place at least for a while.

Grannmarie Fri 06-Aug-21 15:13:20

Esspee, you are not alone! I find it helps to roll onto my hands and knees, and pull myself up from there, holding onto nearby furniture if possible.

That's how I get out of my bath too, from a kneeling position.

If I complain that
" Old age doesn't come alone,"
my sisters ( both younger...) will reply,
" Well it's better than the alternative!"

BlueBelle Fri 06-Aug-21 15:15:02

No it’s never happened to me but I think my legs are fairly strong because I cycle and swim
I do think if there isnt any underlying cause it’s use it or lose it so I think some gentle exercise classes might well help
Perhaps you went too low and didn’t have the strength to pull back up
Definitely youtube will give you an idea

Megs36 Fri 06-Aug-21 15:17:13

Know the feeling, tried to tidy bottom of wardrobe 😅, knowing getting up would be difficult (has been for quite a while) I put a pillow on the floor to kneel on, Didnt work and spent over 10 minutes rolling round the room to find something I could pull myself up on! Always take mobile phone everywhere now in case of emergency. I’m always frightened I may fall over in the street and can’t get up again. Scary, don’t know the answer, sorry.

Fennel Fri 06-Aug-21 15:21:37

I have that problem too and I think I'm fairly fit fot my age. 85.
I use the same technique to get up but if I fall outside with nothing to hold onto, what to do?
Luckily round here folks are very kind and soon a chunky fella arrives and lugs the poor old woman to her feet.

GoldenLady Fri 06-Aug-21 15:23:29

Before I get down on the floor, which I do rarely, I make sure there is a sturdy piece of furniture nearby which I can use to boost myself back up. Otherwise, I don't get down.

Lanoylanoy Fri 06-Aug-21 15:24:12

Oh yes it does happen with age ! I am still having to work at a i vey physical job. However , I still find it very difficult to get up in the morning, and after sitting a long time. Upon standing I have to gauge if my legs will hold me. Of course my daughters and some others have to always say "come on what is taking you so long!" Surprise, you too may face this same thing in your so called "golden" years.

nexus63 Fri 06-Aug-21 15:30:03

this has been happening to me for a few years, i can't squat down or bend my knees to far and sometimes my knee goes from under me, they think i have psoriatic arthritis due to 35 years of psoriasis but i know i do have arthritisin in my knees, hips and ankles, some of my family got arthritis in there 30s one who was a footballer, if i fall i have to shuffle on my bottom to some steady furniture to pull myself up sometimes ibuprofen can help i can't take it due to cancer so ask you doctor if you can and try tablets or voltarol cream, i do lots of walking and was told by an elderly gent a few years ago that i had a purposeful walk as i walk quickly, i am 58 and miss not being able to wear my court shoes, now it is tainers and velcro flats,,,,lol

Charleygirl5 Fri 06-Aug-21 15:39:07

I have had both knees replaced so I have found it exceptionally difficult to kneel, I make a concerted effort not to fall and I am afraid if I cannot bend at the waist to do whatever, it does not get done.

JackyB Fri 06-Aug-21 16:24:04

For jobs like that I prefer not to kneel or crouch but I get a low stool or step and sit on it.

I also try and remember to do exercises such as standing on tiptoe or on one leg, bending knee slightly and hopping from side to side. Before I get up I twiddle my feet round and round and do a few other loosening exercises. Walking is the simplest way to build up strength in your legs and it can be combined with useful jobs like shopping or putting the bins out.

Don't give up, but do work on strengthening your legs and ankles. It will help prevent falls later in life, too.

Esspee Fri 06-Aug-21 17:34:24

Thank you everyone. I think what frightened me was that my legs weren’t responding to my brain. I was thinking ‘stand up’ and nothing happened. 😱
I clearly need to do some strengthening exercises.

LadyGracie Fri 06-Aug-21 19:17:07

It happens to me often, if there's nothing around to pull or prise myself up with I crawl to a convenient object.

Welshwife Fri 06-Aug-21 19:34:31

I found I was somewhat weak after having chemo and two years later I am still nowhere near as good as I was before - I also have a problem with the lumber region of my back if I bend over to do things such as fill the washing machine or dishwasher. I now use an upturned milk crate which OH has put a piece of wood on as a more substantial seat. It is great for sorting the washing and filling the machine etc and other low jobs. Initially I had a bit of a problem getting up off the crate but now I can do it quite easily.

Witzend Fri 06-Aug-21 19:46:41

Must Lhave been scary, OP.
One exercise that’s supposed to be good, if you still can. is getting up from chair or sofa (preferably a low-ish one) without using your hands. Repeat 10 times.

Marydoll Fri 06-Aug-21 19:51:27

It happens to me all the time.
Today I was sitting on the floor, trying to get out the bottom shelf of the freezer, which was stuck, when it suddenly came out and landed on my knees! I was well and truly trapped and MrMDoll , who denies he is deaf, was oblivious to my plight! I managed to push off the drawer and crawl from the utility room to the kitchen and pull myself up. It was not a pretty sight. Stranded whale, springs to mind! wink

annodomini Fri 06-Aug-21 20:57:05

It happened to me in the garden when I'd been kneeling on a kneeler/stool. I held on to the handles which promptly tipped me over. I agree that it's best to get on hands and knees and that's how I manage to get out of the bath.
Espee, how did you manage to get up? I hope you're not still there waiting for a Gransnet patrol to come to your aid. hmm

Esspee Fri 06-Aug-21 23:16:00

Thank you everyone.
I had to use the shelves in the walk in cupboard to pull myself up until out of the squatting position. I suppose squatting is not a normal position for grans but I am usually very flexible. (I can still touch my nose with my big toe 😁)
I spent most of last week crewing a boat which involves lots of ups and downs and I am very healthy for my age though certainly not athletic. It was the disconnect between brain and legs which worried me. Had they “gone to sleep” I would have understood but I was only in the position for a couple of minutes. Ah well, I suppose everyone starts to deteriorate at some point.☹️

Gwenisgreat1 Sat 07-Aug-21 11:40:43

I, too, have this problem. Ever since some delightful person decided they wanted the bit of pavement I was on and shoved me on tp the cobbled road - fortunately traffic free. I couldn't make out why I couldn't move my leg. someone insisted on calling the ambulance, though all I wanted was to get to the station to catch my train!
It transpired my leg was shattered, the surgeon did tell me it was hard to fix and I might have permanent problems - and that's it!! I'd love an answer to improving matters too.

Blossoming Sat 07-Aug-21 11:51:16

I wonder if you’d pinched a nerve when you were squatting Espee? Pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause problems with leg movement. If that was the case working your core should help.

Kali2 Sat 07-Aug-21 11:58:21

Could you not fall onto your knees and then get up from there?

A very useful tip I acquired when learning to snowboard, aged 50 and quite chubby (I mastered it though unlike many of the youngsters accompanying me).

If I fall on my back, this is what I do- not a sight for the faint f heart, but I roll over, get n my knees, and up from there with my 'sizeable' bum in the air. It works.

silverlining48 Sat 07-Aug-21 11:59:38

Marydoll I have a ‘deaf’ dh and when I banged myself into a brick wall about 4’ from him, and yelped in pain, he too was oblivious and just carried on what he was doing. He even had his hearing aids in.
Heaven help me if (as is often ) he is giving his ears a rest and hasn’t put them in and something more serious were to happen.

DiscoDancer1975 Sat 07-Aug-21 12:02:00

Squatting and kneeling are not positions I’m comfortable with now! Bloody knees😮. I can ease down gently, but not great at the getting up part. I’ve had to give up any impact exercise, so running, jumping around dancing etc. Just swim, walk and cycle.

I would keep an eye on it though Espee, as it seems to have come on suddenly. Maybe spine related.