Do you also have a senior citizen in your family who have a recurrent tendency to fall and the person is unable to explain the mechanism or the reason of falling?
There can be a lot of reasons of falling
- Loss of balance.
- Hampered Eyesight that may lead to patient’s inability to judge the uneven ground.
- Vertigo due to BPPV(Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), related to the inner ear.
- Dip in Blood pressure.
- Degenerative Neurological disorders like Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s disease etc.
- Muscular weakness.
Well, for hampered eyesight you must visit an Ophthalmologist (Eye Doctor) and get yourself or the patient checked thoroughly.
A fall in blood pressure requires immediate response and the patient should consult Internal Medicine Physician as soon as possible.
For rest of the cases Physiotherapy and some specific exercises are your answer…
Now the question arises How and Which exercises to perform to get rid of this painful and traumatic recurrence of falling.??
We will discuss BPPV in a separate blog so that you can get proper explanation about the set of exercises specific for the cause.
We are going to discuss and explain basic tips and exercises to improve your balance and prevent you from recurrent falling episodes.
Yes, the golden mantra for fall prevention.
Kindly slow down your movements or your walking speed if you are above the age of 58-60 (Senior citizen age). You are more prone to loose your balance if you are getting up from bed or chair too fast and start walking immediately. Acknowledge that your reflexes have gotten a bit slower than they were used to when you were younger. Respect the age and slow down a little bit.
But remember, we don’t you to sloth around either !!!
Wear proper footwear or wear footwear properly.
Both of these tips will prevent you from falling and will provide you with a proper balance. Footwear play a major role in maintaining your balance while walking or even standing. If you are not wearing a properly arched comfortable shoe then you are most likely to fall or injure your ankle. And likewise, if you are not wearing your footwear properly then you are actually compromising your walking pattern and hence the balance.
Wrong posture or wrong Gait(Walking) pattern
If your posture is wrong while doing anything while you are standing or walking then it increases your risk of falling and doesn’t let your muscles come in action to prevent you from injuries. Stand with your feet apart minimum at your shoulders width apart and try to stand erect and upright.
Or if you are walking in a wrong manner then you are also prone to stumble and may even fall. Try taking even steps and not too large or too small while you take them. Practice with markings on the ground to make your step length even and regular. You can also consult a Physiotherapist for better results.
Practice these exercises for balance :
Heel up & down
Stand supported with a cane, a walking frame, a chair or a railing and try lifting your heel off the ground and coming back on the ground slowly. Always remember to keep your feet shoulder width apart while doing this exercise. You can take support of a cane, a chair or a railing in the beginning and wean from it eventually.
Walk on marked floor
This exercise is helpful for those who tend to walk with either a large step or a small step. Markings should be done on the floor at the maximum of 2-2.5 foot length(foot of the patient, not the length measurement). Markings can be done with the help of tape, chalk, rope or even agility ladder can be used for practicing the step length. A few objects can be added in between if the patient being treated is for Parkinson’s disease so as to rehabilitate the patient to overcome obstructions.
Standing with eyes closed
Patient is asked to stand erect and sense their environment. They are then asked to close their eyes and maintain their balance until the time they are about to loose their balance. Practicing this exercise regularly improves balance with passage of time.
Standing on one leg
Patient is asked to stand on one leg with support in starting days and then is asked to leave support gradually. Practice it daily and gradually decrease the support and increase the time of standing. This particular exercise not only helps with the balance improvement but also strengthens muscles of lower limbs.
Kindly consult your Physio if you are prone to fall.. Physiotherapy can be a Savior in preventing you from recurrent episodes of fall!!
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