Improving balance and preventing falls

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The Sports Injury Clinic

Rachel Mills

September 20, 2021

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Unfortunately falls will occur throughout our lifetime, but they can become more common as we age. Currently30% of adults 65 years and older will experience a fall at least once per year.

Falls risks is multifactorial and linked to changes within the physical and sensory function.

Some changes that can contribute to increased falls include:

- Individuals’ general health

- Vision

- Anxiety about falls

- Medication

- Reduced muscular strength

- Sensory and balance problems

- Reduced physical activity

 

The good news is that it has been shown with regular structured exercises there is a 23% reduction in falls. The more we exercise the better our strength and balance will become. A combination of resistance training, aerobic and balance exercises can help reduce your falls risk.

Five ways that can be effective in reducing the risks of falls and also injuries to falls include:

1.  Environment – at home, take a look around and remove any hazards.

- Adequate lighting

- Use non slip mats

- Remove clutter for easy access

- Install railings and grab rails as needed

- Wear appropriate, supportive and well fitted shoes(you might need to see a podiatrist for specifically fitted shoes).

2. Exercise – a fantastic way to not only help with prevention of falls but for your general health and well-being also!

3. Eyes – make sure you have a yearly eye test to monitor any visual changes.

4. Ears – hearing loss has been associated with increased falls risk. Have your hearing checked to monitor any changes.

5. Education – A great way to reduce your risk of falls is to educate yourself on steps that you can take to improve your own safety. This includes talking to you GP or pharmacist about possible side effects to any medications you might be taking and engaging with an exercise professional.

 

Our team of Exercise Physiologists are available and ready to assist you. Call us on 9783 9990 to book in and begin your program.

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