November is Fall Prevention Month at our clinic and as we all get older, certain health conditions and physical changes that occur make falling more likely. But there are things you can do to prevent falls from happening and prevent injury.
There are many different ways in which you can avoid falls from occurring. Having the right pair of shoes will also help with preventing falls. Properly fitted, sturdy shoes with non-skid soles are what you should be looking for. Removing trip hazards around the home is another good way to prevent falls. Making sure walkways and hallways are clear of clutter, loose rugs and carpet are secure, and putting non-slip mats in the kitchen and bathroom are simple things that can be modified to prevent falls. Finally, making sure your living space is brightly lit will help with fall prevention. That way, you’re able to see better and avoid tripping on objects or furniture that are hard to see.
There are many things you can do to change your physical health to avoid trips and falls from occurring. Getting your muscles and joints assessed is the first step in fall prevention. Making sure there is sufficient muscle strength and good joint movement in the legs and feet is important in fall prevention. Having sufficient muscle strength in your legs will give you a better base of support while walking and moving around. It will also help with your balance. It’s important to make sure there is no numbness in your legs or feet as that will affect your balance as well.
If there are no issues with muscle strength, joint movement and balance, incorporating gentle exercise that also builds muscle can further prevent falls from occurring. Activities such as walking, Aqua-fitness, Tai Chi and even Yoga can help improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
If you’re not sure which activities are right for you, come and get assessed by one of the therapists at Full Function Rehab and Wellness and they will be able to create a strengthening program that best fits you.
Written by: Dr. Anne Trinh, DC