How to Reduce Your Fall Risk Holistically
Annual falls in the United State put a serious burden on the healthcare system and the individuals that sustain an injury. The two most common injuries associated with a fall are head injury and hip fracture, both of which can be very serious. As many as 25% of adults over the age of 65 fall each year. Plus, once an individual has fallen once, their risk for future falls increases affecting their overall quality of life. The best approach to this common problem is prevention.
If you are 65 or older or have a friend or family member that is, you may be concerned about the risks associated with a fall. Luckily, there are some simple steps that can be taken to prevent the occurence of a fall. Being able to optimize home safety, balance, and ultimately prevent falls has the potential to greatly improve an elderly person’s quality of life and even lifespan.
What Risk Factors Increase the Chance of a Fall?
A ton of research has gone into determining what variables increase a person’s risk of falling. Understanding these key factors can help assess an individual’s actual risk of falling, while also giving clear steps on how to start minimizing that risk. Ultimately, when two or more of the following factors below are present, fall risk increases exponentially. Here are the key risk factors to keep in mind:
- Living a primarily sedentary lifestyle
- Low fitness levels- resulting in muscle weakness, poor endurance, and rapid onset of fatigue with daily activity
- Poor general health secondary to lifestyle choices and chronic disease
- Blood pressure issues- particularly position hypotension (low blood pressure), resulting in dizziness when changing positions (standing or sitting) due to a drop in blood pressure
- Medication side effects- such as extreme fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness, or changes in cognition
- Vision problems- secondary to irregular check-ups or poor vision issues that are deemed untreatable
- Having a fear of falling- anxiety and stress about sustaining a fall
- Poor mechanics with walking or other weight bearing activities
How to Reduce Your Fall Risk
With these risk factors in mind, it’s now time to formulate a plan for reducing fall risk for yourself or a loved one. Thankfully, addressing these factors can reduce anxiety around falling and significantly improve an individual’s quality of life. Plus, the best part of addressing these risks is that they also have great secondary benefits for boosting general health and vitality. Here are some of the recommended options:
- First, talk got your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional about your anxieties and concerns around falling
- Then, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any medication side effects you are experiencing- they can help you adjust dosage or make new prescription recommendations with fewer potential side effects
- Participate in regular exercise- with the goal of building balance, strength (of the legs, arms and core), endurance and full body coordination
- Plus, when exercising daily, it’s important to include balance focused exercise in a safe or supervised environment
- Get your vision assessed regularly- once a year is a recommended with a minimum of every two years
- Talk to a recreational or physical therapist about scheduling a home safety assessment
How Chiropractic Care can Help with Reducing Fall Risk
Outside of confiding in your medical team for recommendations, the primary way to reduce your fall risk is addressing the health and balance of your entire body. Unfortunately, there can be some underlying issues that are affecting a person’s ability to get more active. Issues like pain, stiffness, and simply feeling uncoordinated can make a person feel unmotivated to tackle any exercise goals for their health, balance and fall risk. One common root issue that may be contributing to these issues is spine misalignment.
Poor spine alignment is a common problem that is often overlooked. Yet, since spine misalignment leads to poor nerve energy, it can have serious consequences for your body’s ability to coordinate daily movement. Addressing spine alignment can be a great first step in restoring balance to the body. When balance is restored, we can tap into the body’s innate potential for building sustainable health, strength, endurance, balance, and more.
Chiropractic Care for Boosting Your Overall Health
Chiropractors that are specialized in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) are uniquely qualified to address any potential underlying spine alignment issues. Their treatment protocol is deeply rooted in science and results that last. When spine alignment is addressed first, the potential for building sustainable health and reducing fall risk is more sustainable.
Get in touch with the entire team at Symmetry Health Center in Alameda or Oakland, CA to see how they can tap into your body’s potential. Call them today to see how they can holistically address any impairments that you are facing so that you can work toward reducing your fall risk sustainably.