Let's chat about a topic that is often overlooked and has potential of affecting someone's life and could be resulting in life changing injuries.
Over my 17 years career, I have treated patients in hospitals, outpatient clinics, private homes, skilled nursing facilities and rehab centers and hundreds of them for injuries resulting after a fall. Fractures of the hip and pelvis are the most common but hands, wrist, forearm, ankle and feet fractures are not too far behind.
And today, I 'd like to offer some insight and topics regarding balance and falls with....
10 Best Ways To Improve Your Balance and Prevent Another Fall
Falls are very common. In fact, more than 2 million people in the USA suffer falls yearly. Most often, they occur in a familiar environment such as home or the yard, while doing a familiar task. Having poor balance is not something many people in the senior population like to discuss or mentions with their health practitioners. Many sees and accept it as a fact of life and a normal occurrence that goes along with aging.
There is somewhat of a taboo around it as it is thought as "embarrassing" by many...
The problem is that it could also entail a major change in someone's living situation ( generally to the benefits of the person in order to stay safe) with someone that repeatedly falls being forced to move into an assisted living facility and receiving around the clock care to ensure they remain safe and don't suffer yet another fall.
I have on many occasions needed to interview and ask extra questions to patients, and often to other family members, to realize they have struggled with recurrent falls for many years.. which is not an easy thing to admit...
Of course, please know that falling is not a normal thing... even as you age. Keeping your balance results from an interaction between different body systems and functions, which can be complex and diagnosing a single cause to explain a fall is very often hard to identify. But most often, one or several of these systems can be improved by specific exercises and activities which will lead in an improved overall balance and reduce one's chance of falling drastically. No matter what age you are, it is never too late to work on improving your balance.
Keeping good balance and preventing falls is dependent on the following:
-your vestibular system, or the balance system in your inner ear. It consists of chambers linked by tubes filled with fluid. These chambers are lined with nerve endings that detect, as the fluid moved, the position and movement of your head and also give your a perception of gravity. This system is very important in helping you control your balance as well as eye movements and reflexes. Dysfunction of this system can create dizziness and vertigo and an inability to walk or stand with appropriate balance.
-proprioception, or your's brain ability to know where your limbs are positioned and moving in space. It relies on various sensors located in your feet and legs that sends neural input to your brain, which interpret these messages and make your body responds a specific way.
-your vision. Visual acuity decreases with age and addressing vision loss become a must if one's expect to maintain good balance.
-your muscle strength and joint mobility, which generally worsen as we age, even more so in sedentary individuals.
To simplify this... In order for one's to maintain their balance and prevent a fall, you must receive feedbacks / sensations from your environment via one or more of the system above. These feedbacks are then interpreted by your brain which will start a chain of response and corrections to allow you to keep your balance.
I have worked with patients to improve their balance for over 15 years and have been successful in helping people stopping recurrent falls and getting severely injured in the process. Many things can influence your balance and working on improving one could be enough in helping you regain confidence and stability on your feet. I have compiled a guide with 10 important factors that can help you with your balance.
This ebook is currently available for free and you can download it for you, a loved one or a friend by leaving your information once you click on button below.
Don't hesitate to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your balance and if you need help to improve it.
10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Balance And Prevent A Fall
Pierre-Yves Butheau, MPT, CMP has been a physiotherapist for 19 years and has a passion for helping people move better, return from and prevent injuries, as well as improve their function and quality of life. He has a strong interest in addressing the root cause of and treating neuro-musculoskeletal conditions while educating his patients with the knowledge to manage their conditions and prevent recurrence. Pierre also has a niche in treating Bell's palsy and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions.