The Danger Of Falling


Do you remember when you were a child?  You would fall off your bicycle, cry a bit, go into your house,  Mom would spray some sort of antibacterial on your abrasions, place a bandage on and you were then back on the bike playing with your friends.  After the age of 40?  Falls may become a much more difficult and complicated scenario, especially for those over 60.  Every year I see many patients that fall down, break bones and then go through months of arduous therapy to get back to normal.  I am certain many of you have elderly relatives that have fallen, fractured their hips, wind up in rehab centers and then everything spirals downhill from there.  

There are a number of steps we can take to lessen the chances of falling.  Here are some:

  • Do not run, walk or bike on trails that have lots of tree roots sticking out of the ground
  • When there is ice on the ground, wear the proper type of shoes/boots that provide better traction and, as best as possible, take very small steps and do not rush.
  • For those that feel a bit dizzy upon changing from a supine to upright position: sit up first before taking those first few steps.
  • For those that are impaired in their movements from either balance issues or orthopedic problems, do NOT allow “pride” to get in the way:  Use a walker or cane.

This entry would not be recognizable as written by me if this topic was not included:  Poor weight control leads to balance and movements difficulties.  Controlling weight will lessen the chances of serious falls.  Additionally, if/when a fall occurs, there is also less chance of the “healthier” weight person getting up from that fall unscathed as opposed to the overweight/obese person that has a much higher chance of fracturing or damaging bones and joints.  

Remember the physics formula:  Force = Mass X Acceleration.  The lesser “mass” the lower the “force”, hence the less chance of damage from a fall.

Next-to-last point:  Alcohol usage:  Drinking excessive alcohol will lead to poor balance and markedly increase the risk of falling down.  Limiting/avoiding alcohol will help your weight loss efforts and reduce the risk of falling.

The last point:  There is one type of “Falling” that is a really good one…Falling in LOVE.  And The King could not avoid Falling In Love (Again).  Enjoy Elvis.