YOUR LIFE YOUR HEALTH

St. George Man Recovers From Fall Through Neuro Rehabilitation Center

Dec 6, 2018, 8:51 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Rick Craiggs is an accomplished golfer. He’s hit six holes-in-one in his lifetime.
“There’s something magical about when you hit the golf ball just the way it’s supposed to be hit. It’s pretty addicting,” said the 72-year-old.

But last year, one accidental fall in his garage changed everything. Craiggs caught his toe in the doormat and fell to the floor. He tried to get up, but immediately panicked.

“And once I got upright, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move my legs,” Craiggs said.

The fall caused a severe back injury requiring spinal fusion surgery. He spent about a month in acute rehab.

Rick Craiggs practiced his golf swing again as part of his therapy at Dixie Regional Neuro Rehabilitation center.

Rick Craiggs practiced his golf swing again as part of his therapy at Dixie Regional Neuro Rehabilitation center.

“I was so sure that I was never going to golf again. I gave up my membership,” Craiggs said.

After he was discharged from rehab, Craiggs started outpatient therapy at Dixie Regional Outpatient Neuro Rehabilitation center. He showed up in a wheelchair, had very poor balance and was at a high risk for falling.

“The first day here I could not stand up out of a chair,” Craiggs said. “I was just shaking.”

But through a lot of hard work, he made remarkable progress.

“The second week I came to therapy… with a walker, the third week, I came with my hiking poles. The fourth week, I came carrying my hiking poles; and the fifth week, I left everything home and came solo,” Craiggs said.

Intermountain Healthcare's balance therapist Arndreke Armstrong said falling is common for seniors.

Intermountain Healthcare’s balance therapist Arndreke Armstrong said falling is common for seniors.

Intermountain Healthcare’s balance therapist Arndreke Armstrong said falling is common for seniors.

“They’ve become deconditioned, their reaction or the response time is slowed down, so they’re not able to catch themselves quickly enough. They end up on the floor and that leads to injury and, in some cases, can lead to death,” he explained.

But fortunately, Craiggs’ active lifestyle made for a quick recovery.

Armstrong encourages older people to stay active and to participate in some sort of fitness program or strength training. “One of the best things you can do is walk … just make that a regular part of your daily routine,” he said.

Within two months, Craiggs was walking on his own, participating in his favorite activities again like tending to his cactus garden, driving his show cars, and getting back on the golf course.

Armstong said the subsequent injuries from a fall can sometimes be deadly. He encourages people experiencing regular falls to see a balance therapist for an evaluation, especially for patients with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, vertigo, or people recovering from a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Your Life Your Health

FILE PHOTO (Maryland State Police)...
Ayanna Likens

How to make sure your child’s car seat is properly installed

It's Child Passenger Safety week, and it's crucial that your kids are properly buckled in before you hit the road.
8 days ago
A program at LDS Hospital is bringing support and a distraction from those receiving treatment for ...
Ayanna Likens

Joy and Wellness Program provided support for those battling cancer

A program at LDS Hospital is bringing support and a distraction from those receiving treatment for blood cancers.
15 days ago
Intermountain healthcare launched a new mental health resource that will visit children and teens i...
Ayanna Likens

A new free mental health resource in Utah will visit children in their moment of crisis

Intermountain Healthcare launched a new mental health resource for children and teens. The Stabilization Mobile Response unit (SMR) is designed to go to your home in a discreet way to help your child in crisis. The service is free.
22 days ago
Max Thomas Richins (right) and Dr. James Hellowell (left), the man who Richins credits with saving ...
Ayanna Likens

Ogden man shares how naloxone saved his life

In honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, one Ogden man said naloxone saved his life — and many of his friends, too.
30 days ago
Mom of three, Abby, working out....
Ayanna Likens

Creating healthy habits for families as kids return to school

Summer has come to an end, and school is back in session, which comes with a big adjustment for both parents and kids.
1 month ago
UVU Homecoming festivities and Women’s Soccer vs. New Mexico on the campus of Utah Valley Univers...
Ayanna Likens

How you can help prevent injuries as students get back into fall sports

As kids returned to classrooms this week, they are also returning to fall sports – one Intermountain doctor shares tips on how to keep your kids healthy as they return to the field.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
St. George Man Recovers From Fall Through Neuro Rehabilitation Center