General health

10 Top Tips to Prevent Falls

For those with reduced mobility, the winter and colder months can be a worrying and stressful time, as the risk of experiencing a slip, trip or fall increases. As well as the risk of sustaining a debilitating injury, the worry of falls can have a big impact on confidence levels, with some individuals limiting their daily activity to reduce their risk.

While the weather remains cold, a few small changes to your routine can help reduce your risk of falling and improve your confidence in your surroundings and your body’s ability. Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Medicine Consultant, Justin Yeoh who consults at our centre in Surrey, shares his top 10 simple tips to reduce falls if you have reduced or low mobility.

  1. Stand up slowly

    Getting up too quickly can cause a quick drop in blood pressure that may result in being unsteady on your feet. Take it slowly and ensure you have adequate support.

  2. Good posture

    Stand up straight with your shoulders even, spine neutral and abdominal muscles pulled in. This centres your weight over your feet, keeping you well balanced.

  3. Pay attention when you walk

    Minimise your distractions when walking for example do not use your mobile phone. Wait to send a message or hold conversations until you are sitting.

  4. Invest in good footwear

    Wear well-fitting shoes with low heels that are sturdy as well as offer comfort, support and good traction.

  5. Check your hearing

    As you get older you might find your hearing is not as good as it used to be. A problem with your ears can severely affect your balance. The problem may be something easily treated, like ear wax, an infection, or you may require a hearing aid.

  6. Check your vision

    Our eyesight changes with age and can cause loss of balance, poor coordination and result in a trip. Get your vision or glasses checked regularly, at least every 2 years.

  7. Eat well

    It is important to eat a well-balanced diet to ensure you get enough energy and keep up your strength.

  8. Keep hydrated

    As well as having a good diet, you should make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol). If you don’t drink enough it is likely that you will start to feel light-headed and that can lead to a fall.

  9. Stay active

    As we get older, our muscle strength and balance reduces, which may cause a fall. By improving your posture, coordination and balance with exercises designed to improve muscle strength, you can reduce your risk of a fall.

  10. Consult your doctor before starting a new exercise plan

    Get expert advice from your doctor to ensure any exercise plan you are keen to start is safe. This is particularly true if you have been feeling dizzy or have a chronic health condition like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma. The best way to ensure you are exercising safely is to consult your doctor.

If you experience a slip, trip or fall, it is recommended that you seek medical treatment from a healthcare professional. Whether you have sustained an injury or not, your doctor will carry out a full check-up to better understand why it may have happened and provide further advice on minimising any risk going forward.

If you sustain a more severe injury from a fall, you may require a diagnostic scan to diagnose the problem, followed by further treatment such as rehabilitation or pain management.

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