Samantha Wheelock, LPTA
“Help I’ve fallen and I cant get up!”. This is a common phrase of a commercial that many have seen. Falling is a serious problem that effects many people. Many different factors can contribute to having a higher fall risk such as weakness, poor balance, poor fitting foot wear or uneven ground. What can we do to help our selves so that we lessen our fall risk, ultimately increasing our safety?
Staying strong benefits our bodies in many different ways. When our muscles are strong they all work together in holding us upright. Our muscles help us move different body parts to help us maintain balance and good form while walking or standing. Some exercises we can do to stay strong include sitting on a stable kitchen chair and transferring from sit to stand then standing to sitting. Do this multiple times. If it is too easy when transferring from standing to sitting don’t sit all the way down before standing up again. Another easy exercise can be performed while sitting on your couch. While sitting, pump your ankles up and down as if you are pumping the gas pedal on your vehicle. Lastly an exercise that can be performed in the kitchen. While holding onto the kitchen counter go up on your toes as if reaching into the cupboard. These exercises will help keep your leg muscles strong.
Poor balance is commonly a large factor in falls. Can balance be fixed? Absolutely! balance is a lot like a muscle. There are exercises that can be performed to help build your balance ability. In our clinics we offer a free balance assessment that will let you know how good or poor your balance is. We also frequently work with people on increasing their balance ability for indoor and outdoor activities.
Foot wear can act as a tripping hazard if not properly fitting. If the shoe is too lose it could fall off while you are walking. A shoe that is too big can also leave too much room for the foot to move making it so that you don’t step on the correct place of the shoe to maximize contact with the ground. A properly fitting shoe gives your foot support. It has a tight fit allowing the shoe to move with your foot and not allowing much wiggle room throughout the shoe.
There are many factors that can effect your risk with falling. By recognizing where improvement can be and acting on it, your falls risk could decrease making the activities you enjoy more safe. Our physical therapy clinics offer free fall screens and are well trained with improving fall risk. Don’t be the one who fell and cant get up. “Health is wealth” Virgil.
Physical Therapy Consultants Inc. May 10th, 2016
Posted In: General