Fall officially begins on September 22. That’s also when the country observes National Falls Prevention Day. Okay, it’s a pretty bad pun (on the word “fall” – get it?). But there’s absolutely nothing funny about falling down.
Why people fall
You can probably guess who’s highest on the list of people at risk of falling: the elderly. The elderly are prone to fall for many reasons:
- their vision may be poor and they can’t see where they’re going
- they may forget (or refuse, if they’re stubborn) to use their cane or walker
- there may be loose rugs or other obstacles in the home
- they may lack good lighting throughout their home
- their shoes may not fit properly
- they lack strength in their core
- their feet may be in bad shape – conditions like bunions, hammertoes, weak ankles, and even ingrown toenails make it harder to balance and stay upright
You can significantly reduce your risk of falling just by addressing these last two reasons.
- Strengthen your core
What is your core, anyway? Many people think it means your abdominal muscles. However, your core isn’t just the middle of your front.It also includes your back central area – and that includes your lower back, hips, pelvis, and rear end. Having a strong core improves your balance, which is key to preventing falls. You can strengthen your core through regular exercise including crunches, planks, side planks, and squats. (Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)
- Fix your feet
Core strength is important, yes – but it may not be enough if you’re teetering on feet that need fixing. Visit Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland whenever you – or the senior citizen that you love – have foot pain. Call us at (440) 903-1041 or make an appointment online with our expert podiatrists Craig B. Frey, DPM and Megan L. Oltmann, DPM in Solon, Ohio.