Each year, one in every four adults over 65 will experience a fall. The risk of falling is one of the biggest dangers to your overall well being and quality of life, with one in five falls resulting in a serious injury.
Luckily there are things you can do to reduce your risk of falling - and your local chiropractor can help!
The Risk Factors for Falling
Age, gender, and previous falls are some of the factors that naturally increase the risk of falling, but there are other factors we can address to help reduce the chances of falling.
Some treatable risk factors include:
Problems with walking or movements - Balance is an important part of human mobility and as we age can become more challenging. Poor fitting shoes can also contribute to balance problems.
Core body strength/weakness - The strength of stabilizer or core muscles can affect how likely people are to fall. How strong a person's core and lower body muscles are determines their ability to operate in everyday life, such as getting out of a chair and walking around the house. Inactivity and deconditioning or diseases that weaken these muscles can cause falls.
Medications - Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as antidepressants, hypnotics and opioids have long been believed to contribute to fall risks. In a study conducted by the Department of Global Public Health at KI, Jette Moller and her team identified a number of prescription drugs, over the counter medicines and even some dietary supplements that can increase an older person's risk of falling.
Vision problems - A study done by the University of Miami School of Medicine in partnership with the National Eye Institute found out that people who have limited or no light perception were four times more likely to have fallen than those with good visual acuity.
Environmental hazards - Poor lighting, steps that are too steep and throw rugs are examples of potential environmental factors contributing to falls risk.
Tips to Prevent Falls
Wear sensible shoes- 4-inch heels are just not worth it anymore, even young people trip in high heels.
Keep your home free of trip hazards - Declutter your home and install grab bars and handrails in areas where you need help with your balance.
Use step stools when reaching overhead and use non-slip mats in your bathroom.
Stay active - Staying physically active reduces the risk of falls by improving strength, balance and walking gait. If you are not in good shape it's never too late to get started. At Couve Health, our team of health professionals can work with you to ease you into a program that focuses on balance, strength and movement.
Get your vision and hearing checked regularly - The correct vision prescription will help you see the cracks in the sidewalk. Keeping up with hearing health is important. Ear infections and ear disorders also impact balance.
Review all medications - Have a conversation with your doctor to ensure your medications are not contributing to possible accidents
How Can Chiropractic Care Help Prevent Falls
Chiropractors have been recognized by both the American Chiropractic Association and World Federation of Chiropractic as potentially playing a key role in reducing risk of falls in aging populations.
Chiropractic therapy is a natural and non-invasive approach that helps to improve the functions of your musculoskeletal body parts. It also enhances your joints for better mobility. Better mobility and improved musculoskeletal function will also help to prevent falls in the future.
Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling again. At Couve Health we understand that each person's situation is unique. We will design a custom plan not only to improve your health but improve your confidence so you can lead the life you deserve.
Chiropractic care is not only good for the prevention of falls but also for the treatment of injuries as a result of a fall or slip. Injuries related to neck, hip or back pain can all be improved with chiropractic care. Depending on how serious your fall was, an X-ray image of the affected area will be taken by a chiropractor to see if you have suffered from extensive damage. The scans will be reviewed, and the best treatment plan will be administered to you for a full recovery and faster relief from the injury.
Another common part of this injury from a fall is inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction against injury and infection. It is good to experience inflammation after an injury. In some cases, your body’s natural response may be excessive, causing more inflammation than what is required. This excess inflammation can be reduced with chiropractic care. It will help treat the cause of the pain by reducing pressure in your neck, back, or spine.
If you have experienced a fall or would like more information about fall prevention please contact us at Couve Health. Our team includes chiropractors, physiotherapists, registered massage therapists and rehabilitation specialists.
We are experts in restoring function of the body during movements, from everyday activities to high-level athletics! With individualized care for all your moving parts, we can help optimize mobility by applying an advanced understanding of muscle and joint function and training. It’s not just about reducing pain: it’s about reaching optimal functioning and total body wellness.
Book your appointment with Couve Health online by clicking here.