Exercise Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Experiencing a Fall

Falls are one of the most common accidents, particularly amongst those aged 65 and over. Whilst a fall doesn’t always result in serious injury, they can leave you in pain and discomfort for a number of weeks. People can experience a fall at any age, but the complications can be far more serious in older people who are more likely to experience injuries such as thigh and hip fractures. Physiotherapists play a key role in both fall prevention and rehabilitation, and in this blog post we will be sharing some helpful tips to reduce your risk of experiencing a fall.

 

The Danger of Falls

Falls are unintentional and can occur at any moment. Experiencing a fall can cause a serious knock to a person’s confidence, and in some cases falls can result in serious injury or even death. Sometimes falls can be a result of tripping or slipping, and other times the cause can be attributed to medical issues such as low blood pressure or stroke. Some of the most common causes for falls include:

  • The presence of hazards in the home or workplace
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impaired balance/mobility
  • Visual impairment
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cardiovascular pathology
  • Side effects from medication (e.g. dizziness or light-headedness)

 

Amongst older people, falls are a common reason for being admitted to hospital. Unfortunately, in some cases these injuries can lead to secondary complications which may limit quality of life or lead to a reduced life expectancy.  The good news is that with the aid of a physiotherapist, a balanced diet and regular exercise people of all ages can reduce their risk of experiencing a fall.

Regular Exercise Can Reduce Your Risk

As we age, our physiological and psychological systems enter a natural state of decline which eventually starts to impact on our balance and mobility. Daily exercise plays an important role in keeping the body healthy, as it helps to strengthen muscles, bones and improve balance. Weight bearing exercises such as walking are a great place to start; with improved coordination, posture, and joint flexibility just a few of the benefits you will gain. A daily walk will enhance your mobility whilst improving your mental and physical wellbeing, dramatically reducing your risk of experiencing falls.

It is important not to push yourself. Ease into your exercise routine and gradually increase it as your stamina and confidence starts to improve. You should also ensure that you are wearing properly fitted shoes with grippy soles. If you have impaired balance or abnormal gait, you may wish to use a walking stick or frame.

 

How physiotherapy can help

It is a good idea to visit your physiotherapist on a regular basis, particularly if you have a history of falls. At Therapy Services Physio we take a tailored approach towards fall prevention and management which is interdisciplinary. Your physiotherapist will be able to analyse your fall history, perform a full physical examination and functional assessment of your daily activities before recommending strategies to reduce the risk of experiencing a fall. Programs we typically recommend include muscle strengthening exercises and exercises aimed at improving your balance, with yoga poses being particularly beneficial.

 

Book an Appointment at Therapy Services Physio Darlinghurst Today

It is important to understand your fall risks and helpful strategies to reduce them. Exercise plays a key role in reducing your risk of fall, and your physiotherapist can be a valuable asset in both fall prevention and management.

Book an appointment with Therapy Services Physio St Vincent’s Clinic today by calling (02) 8382 6935 or emailing tsphysio@tpg.com.au, we look forward to seeing you soon.