Falling is one of the most worrying thoughts for many older people, especially if they already have weakened bones through Osteoporosis.
This is with good reason.
Weak bones can lead to a much increased likelihood of a fracture – and the most common bones to break are the wrists – because you put your hands out to save yourself or the hip – when you land heavily and badly.
Both of these fractures can put severe limits on your otherwise active and independent life. In fact a bad fall can blight your life –
- leading to hospitalisation for weeks,
- being unable to live independently any more, and
- sometimes the shock can lead to death.
So staying strong, active and with a good sense of balance is vital.
There are some simple basic exercises that can make a huge difference over time. They are easy to do but repetition is the key to success.
The exercises are:
- Sit to Stand
- Heel Raises
- Toe Raises
- Heel Toe Stand
- Heel Toe Walking
- One Leg Stand
To build up your muscle strength and help your bones you MUST do WEIGHT-BEARING exercises i.e. you take the weight of your own body. So sitting for these does not work – although you can hold onto something for extra support if that helps.
The Basics – Safety first:
• Use a sturdy and stable chair or something solid like a worktop for support.
• Wear supportive shoes and comfortable clothes.
• If any exercise causes pain in your joints or muscles stop check you are doing it correctly, and try it again.
If pain persists, seek advice from your Osteopath – 01243 641665.
• Feeling your muscles work or a slight muscle soreness the next day is normal.
• If you experience chest pain, severe shortness of breath or dizziness STOP IMMEDIATELY and contact your GP or call 111 if your GP practice is closed.
• Try not to hold your breath – breathe normally throughout.
Do these exercises three times a week, and repeat each exercise 10 times. Note: 10 times really well is better than 10x fast!
What to do when you have a few falls
Falls are not an inevitable part of getting older – there are simple steps you can take to stay steady, reduce your chance of falling, prevent serious injuries if you do fall, and keep up and about.
- • Keep active
- • Manage your medicines
• Have regular eye checks
• Look after your feet
• Eat well and stay hydrated
• Create a safer home
• Consider vitamin D• Tell someone if you fall – it can be a sign of other things
When and where to get help
Discuss any concerns or worries with your GP or other health care professional if you:
• have had more than one fall in the last 12 months
• had a fall in your home
• blacked out, were dizzy when you fell or found yourself on the floor and didn’t know why
• feel dizzy on standing up or when walking
• feel unsteady on your feet
• haven’t had a review of your medication in the last year
• don’t get out as much as you’d like as you’re worried about tripping or falling
Here is the foldable, printable brochure: CLICK HERE
If you have found this useful – please share with others. Thank you.
If you need some more advice, exercise advice etc please make an appointment with Gayle to create your unique falls prevention programme. https://living-elements-clinic.cliniko.com/bookings
Your Health IS My Priority!
© Gayle Palmer, Living Elements Clinic, 2020-21