Reducing Your Fall Risk Holistically
If you are getting older or have a parent that is 65 year of age or above, you may have found yourself worrying about the risk of sustaining a fall. This concern is a warranted one, since as many as one in four elderly adults fall every single year. This is bad news since experiencing one fall increases the risk for a future fall and decreases overall lifespan. Plus, two of the primary health issues associated with falling is a hip fracture or head injury. All of these outcomes lead to a decrease in overall quality of life and increased morbidity rates.
Falling is a huge risk factor for your general health as you age. As a society, we know it is a problem yet it is not often addressed in the medical community until after a fall has already been sustained. Optimizing balance, safety, and preventing falls would significantly improve the lives of the eldely population. Plus, it also decreases both individual and nationwide financial burden from the accruing medical costs associated with a fall.
Risk Factors Associated with Falling
There has been a lot of extensive research done on fall risk variables. From this, it has been discovered that there are several key factors that can help determine how high the risk is for an aging individual. When two or more of the factors listed below are present, a person’s fall risk goes up significantly. These risk factors include:
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Poor general fitness levels resulting in poor strength, inadequate endurance, and rapid fatigue
- Poor general health secondary poor lifestyle factors, disease and/or illness
- Underlying blood pressure issues- especially positional hypotension since this leads to dizziness with a change in position from lying or sitting to standing
- Sleepiness, dizziness, and brain fog secondary to medication side effects
- Vision impairments due to irregular check-ups or untreatable vision problems
- A general fear of falling
- Poor gait mechanics with walking and other weight bearing activities
Reducing Your Fall Risk
Living in fear of falling or actually sustaining a fall does nothing for a person’s quality of life. Thankfully, there are many straightforward and relatively easy ways to decrease your overall falls risk. Additionally, many of these options also have secondary benefits of boosting your overall health and vitality for the foreseeable future. Some of these options include but are not limited to:
- Start by talking to your doctor or another trusted health professional about your concerns of falling
- Additionally, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any side effects you may be experiencing with your medications- they may be able to adjust dosage or make other prescription recommendations
- Exercise regularly to boost overall balance, strength and coordination with daily activities- this should include weight bearing activity, leg strengthening, and core strengthening each week at a minimum
- Participate regularly in balanced based exercises- make sure to complete them is a safe and/or guided environment
- Schedule a home safety assessment with a recreational therapist or physical therapist for home modification recommendations
- Make sure to get your vision checked regularly- at a minimum of every two years
The Role of Spine Alignment in Balance and Fall Risk
While the list of ways to reduce your fall risk above may seem simple enough, it can often feel impossible getting started. This can be particularly true for getting started with regular exercise and balance exercise. This is most often secondary to other issues elderly people tend to face like joint pain, general stiffness, and other health related problems. These can leave your or a loved one feeling frustrated and unmotivated to actually make any sustainable changes for their safety and health.
One way to boost the motivation factor is to address one common underlying health issue: spine alignment. When spine misalignment is present, it leads to poor nerve health and can cause or aggravate all of the issues discussed above. Addressing spine alignment as a primary goal can help restore balance and nerve integrity to boost overall health. This can boost the motivation factor and help you to start gradually decreasing your risk of falls with exercise and a balance routine.
Chiropractic Care to Boost Your Overall Health
Although spine alignment may not be your first thought when addressing fall risk, it can unlock your innate potential for living the life you want. Finding a trusted chiropractor is the best way to address these root issues related to spine health. With their guidance, you can potentially reach a new level of health.
The entire team at North Alabama Spine and Rehab in Huntsville or Decatur, AL is dedicated to your health. They can holistically address your spine alignment. From there, you can work together to build a treatment program that maximizes your strength, balance, and general health. Get in touch with their amazing staff today to see how they can help you with your health goals and hopefully keep you off the ground today.