The risk of falls is a serious one, especially as we get older. The knock-on effect of falling can be life threatening. There are several studies that demonstrate the harm of falls, with links between falls and fractures that reduce life expectancy and where falls can lead to brain damage.
Therefore, it is in our interest to do all we can to prevent falls as well as strengthen our bodies should we fall. You will see that the posts from earlier this month focused on the strengthening of bone quality.
This blog will focus on how to prevent falls. To first figure how to prevent falls we must see what the risk factors for such falls are. The World Health Organization published a list of those risks, which included:
1. Increase in Age
2. Sedative and Diuretic medication
3. Circulatory conditions such as COPD and Diabetes
4. Psychological disorders such as fear of falling
5. Nutritional deficiencies, mainly Vitamin D.
6. Visual Impairments.
7. Foot problems.
So, what can we work on to prevent our risk of falling?
From the above list there are several areas to work on and action steps that we can to take to reduce our risk.
a. If we are on sedative or diuretic medication, be aware that this is a risk factor and plan accordingly. Make sure to have someone guide you or remove potential trip hazards around the house. Keep your blood sugar levels in good order to combat the effects of the medication.
b. Circulatory conditions and diabetes can affect the feeling in our feet. Controlling blood sugar levels and wearing supportive foot wear can go a long way to managing these.
c. Vitamin D supplementation can be a great preventative measure for falling risks. You will see in the blog from 2 weeks ago our article relating to Vitamin D.
d. Visual improvement can be attained though the correct nutrition as well as corrective eye wear. We would suggest increasing the intake of Omega 3 fish oils.
e. Foot problems come in many varieties but for fall risks it is advised to have sturdy and strong foot wear.
Beyond these measures, chiropractic can be very beneficial to those at risks and there are some studies to show that it reduces the incidence in fall for patients under regular chiropractic care. Chiropractors find any interference in the spine and nervous system, these we call subluxations. Subluxations will slow or change how the brain and foot communicate. This in turn can change and reduce the balance of an individual. Through chiropractic adjustments it is possible to increase the speed and efficiency by which the brain and the feet are communicating therefore giving the body more awareness of the terrain under foot. This will in turn reduce the risk of falling to that individual.
So if you know someone who has regular falls or is at risk, why not book a chiropractic assessment?