The CDC reports that over 800,000 people are hospitalized each year due to a fall. This is a huge number of people, but there is the potential to mitigate some risks associated with falls. This blog will educate you on a few exercises to build up strength and balance to assist in the prevention of falls.
Kimberly Smith is the Assistant Manager of Clinical Programs, IL Regional Coordinator – Vestibular/Concussion Program
If you or someone you know has fallen, you are not alone. Balance quickly diminishes after the mid-50s, increasing the risk for falls and other adverse health outcomes. According to the National Institute on Aging, 1 in 3 individuals will suffer a fall each year. The good news is it is never too late to improve your balance and fitness to decrease these risks. This may be as simple as making minor changes, just a few minutes a day, and using your local Physical Therapist as a resource! The pandemic has not helped reduce the falls problem, as most of the population 65 and older became stationary, less active, and was not challenging their bodies to the full potential. As part of Falls Prevention Awareness Month this September, we would like to highlight the importance of early detection and prevention for yourself or a loved one.
Ankle sprains are an extremely common lower extremity injury in both athletic and general populations. Ankle sprains account for up to 40% of lower extremity sports injuries1 and are one of the most common injuries to be seen in the emergency room2. Most ankle sprains occur when the ankle “rolls” inward, resulting in pain, swelling, loss of motion, and bruising around the ankle.
With the warm weather across the country, there will be plenty of opportunities to spend some time outdoors. Why not use some time to exercise while you’re at it? Below you will find a handful of easy to moderate level exercises that anyone can perform outside.
With advancements in technology, detecting a fall is easier than ever! Apple Watches have been able to detect a fall for some time, a feature automatically added for anyone 55 years and older. Emergency medical response teams may even be called based on one’s movement, or lack thereof, after the impact or fall. However, the latest feature – Walking Steadiness – available on the Apple iOS 15 update now allows the phone to send you a notification related to the steadiness of your walking. This update can help recognize your risk for falls before they happen.
Balance is observed in many aspects of life. An elite running back, a waitress, and even Grandma Sally all need good balance. A running back uses balance to stay on his feet and avoid defenders, whereas a waitress uses balance to carry food and weave in between guests. Grandma Sally uses her balance to navigate the grocery store or to walk to her mailbox. Balance plays a crucial role in avoiding falling and completing tasks throughout the day.
Walking, running, jogging, dancing, are all functional activities we do daily without thinking about it. They simply come second nature to us and are essential to a healthy life. What if your big toe, also known as the hallux, was amputated? Would you still be able to do what you love at all or even with ease?
As a physical therapist and hand therapist, one of the biggest concerns I hear from my patients is that they are worried they are going to fall and hurt themselves. It is not uncommon for a therapist to be treating injuries that resulted from a fall. The upper extremity (shoulder through the fingers) is a common place for injuries to occur following a fall as many will use their hands to brace their fall in order to protect their face or head. This type of fall is called a F.O.O.S.H or a fall on an outstretched hand. This blog will briefly look into common injuries of the upper extremity with a fall and will talk about ways to prevent these injuries.