Falls increase as people age resulting in high healthcare utilization. It has become a major concern in terms of disability, mortality, institutionalization, and socioeconomic burden. Falling is considered one of the biggest dangers to adults’ overall health, wellness, and quality of life. In older adults, about 30% of falls can result in moderate to severe injuries. There are four adults of age 65 who fall at least once a year. One out of these five falls has led to severe injuries, such as hip fractures, lacerations, and head trauma, which can lead to an early death. This sounds scary, but there are ways to prevent falls, like chiropractic care.
The Dangers of Falling
Most falls are multifactorial, which means they are commonly linked to both patient-specific environments and risk factors. Common key intrinsic risk factors are age, reduced lower limb strength, sensory decline, and comorbidity. Senior citizens are more likely to fall due to some risk factors. This can cause them broken bones, such as wrist, ankle, arm, resulting in severe pain that can disrupt their quality of living. Head injury is also a common result, especially for those taking medications like blood thinners.
The following are some of the risk factors that contribute to the risk of falling:
Difficulty in walking and maintaining balance
Core and lower body muscle weakness
Joint and muscle pain
Pre-existing medical conditions
Because of these risks, after a fall, some patients will tend to limit their activities because they fear falling again. Due to decreased activities, it may lead to muscle weakness and could increase their chances of falling again. These are serious issues, especially for adults, but many can be of less risk to overall health and wellness with the help of chiropractic care.
See Your Chiropractor For Preventive Care
If you fall and injure yourself or you later experience back pain, hip pain, or neck pain, chiropractic care is not only a reliable help to ease the pain but can also offer preventative care. Seeing a chiropractor can help keep your joints and soft tissues functioning correctly, which is an important aspect to stay healthy and active as you age.
Better Balance with Chiropractic
Many patients have gotten help with balance issues from chiropractors. Improving balance helps seniors gain more confidence which can lead to fewer falls and higher quality of life. It can help with mobility by removing joint dysfunctions and restrictions present in the spine that reduce their mobility, making it even more difficult to keep balance. With chiropractic care, patients will be able to increase spinal mobility helping them with bending, walking, and being cautious of their environment to help them navigate safely and successfully through potentially risky environments that can cause them to fall.
Fall patients suffer from pain due to joint deterioration. Chiropractic care has been proven to help improve joint mobility and relieve pain, which at the same time encourages more seniors to move more for quality living.
Improve balance and strength
Another way is, your chiropractor to recommend exercises and changes in your lifestyle to improve your sense of balance, flexibility and maintain your muscle strength. If you can improve your muscle strength in your core and legs, you can reduce your risk of falling or chances of serious injury. Some of these exercises are walking, yoga, jogging, dancing, and Tai Chi, which you can do without special equipment except some supportive shoes. Doing leg stretches at home while in a sitting position can help keep you centered and on your feet. Exercising at least 20 minutes a day can help you prevent muscle weakness, leading you to fall. These forms of exercises involve slow, deliberate movements with breathing and muscle activity that improve balance. Make sure to integrate balance and strength practice into your everyday life.
It is Safe
Chiropractic care is safe and natural. It means it does not have medications that can cause side effects that may make falls more likely to happen and no impairment of cognitive function so you can move freely around with a clear mind. Even if you are older and have never been to a chiropractor, you can still seek their help. Chiropractic care offers lots of benefits for people of all ages, including seniors.
Getting regular adjustments can help your body regain mobility and will allow you to stay active. Your chiropractor can also give you nutritional advice to maintain the proper alignment of your body and to keep your bones strong.
Drink enough water to get dehydrated because dehydration can cause dizziness. Eating foods rich in Vitamin D can increase muscle strength. Have your eyes checked yearly.
Assess Your Home and Environment
You should also assess your home around environmental risks as some falls happen at home or around the house. So making sure your home is safe from these hazards, you can prevent further injuries in the event of an accidental fall.
- Make sure the handrails are secure on both sides of a staircase
- Install grab bars near the bath and toilet area
- Keep the hallways and pathways clear
- Keep the material you often use within reach
- Place rubber mats in the kitchen
- Use non-slip mats in the bathroom
With these steps, along with chiropractic treatment, patients will be able to continue to live a full and healthy life.
The Bottom Line
Preventing falls does not only save lives but can also improve the quality of life of millions of people, especially the older ones. It is great to know that even though falls are dangerous, there are many ways to prevent them. There have been many studies that figure out the most effective preventive ways with regards to falls in older people living on their own. It is the largest study of this type funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a nonprofit organization, and the National Institute on Aging. It aims to find better tips to prevent falls in the home while focusing on maintaining balance and health to make every home as safe as possible.