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How Can I Reduce My Risk of Falling?

How Can I Reduce My Risk of Falling?

Anyone of any age can suffer a fall. Whether you’ve had a bit too much to drink, or you have a medical issue that’s affecting your gait, a fall has the potential to badly injure you. But there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling.

At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, our team has the skills and experience to help you not only prevent falls, but treat any injuries you may have. The team consists of a number of different physicians, including orthopedic specialists, who get you the care you need to stay safe as you get older.

What causes falls?

It’s quite possible that you’ve tripped or slipped before, or will do so at some point. It can happen for any number of reasons, and here are some common ones:

Chronic medical conditions are another reason that you may take a spill. Arthritis, diabetes, and a previous stroke are medical problems that increase your risk of falling. These conditions can slow your body’s ability to function, and you might also struggle due to medications that are used to treat these conditions.

Common injuries from falls

Your injuries from falls can range from very mild to serious to life-threatening. If you do take a spill, some of the more common injuries you may sustain include: 

Head injuries are especially serious outcomes from a fall. If you’re taking medications like blood thinners, an injury from falling down may lead to bleeding in your brain.

There are, however, steps you can take to improve your surroundings and help you keep yourself upright.

Reducing your risk of falling

If you’re at risk of falling, our team has strategies to help you keep yourself safe. No matter what’s increasing your risk, the team has treatments and therapies that help you improve your mobility and prevent slips, trips or falls. These strategies include:

Staying active

Regular physical activity keeps your muscles and tendons flexible and your muscles strong. Strength and flexibility are vital when it comes to preventing falls. Low-impact exercises and strength training also help you avoid conditions like osteoporosis.

Using assistive devices

Proper use of assistive devices such as a cane, walker, or crutches is a great way to help you avoid falls when your mobility is impaired. Our doctors help you get fitted properly, as these devices should be customized to you.

Getting your vision checked 

It only makes sense that if you have trouble seeing where you’re walking, you’re more likely to fall. So make sure you get regular eye exams and keep your vision prescriptions up-to-date.

Preparing your home

Clutter and bad lighting are two big causes of trips, slips, and falls, so don’t let those opportunities arise.  Along with proper lighting and keeping walking areas clear, use railings and non-slip mats in the shower or bathtub.

Wearing shoes

Although socks are comfortable and tempting to wear around the house, they can be very slippery. If you want to wear socks, wear non-slip socks. However, keeping your shoes on as much as possible is one of the best ways to prevent falls.

Staying on top of your medications

Learning about your medications is yet another way you can prevent falls. Some meds cause side effects like dizziness or dehydration, which can knock you off your feet. By taking control of your health, you can successfully prevent accidents from happening.

If you’d like to learn more about fall prevention strategies, call our office in Daly City, California, today, or book an appointment online with one of our doctors now.

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