Preventing falls with podiatry

Factors such as decreasing muscular strength, visual issues, and foot problems can all contribute to an increase in the risk of falls as we age. According to a McMaster University research, 20-30% of Canadian seniors experience at least one fall every year. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid falling, such as contacting a podiatrist to maintain your feet in good health and stability.

Falls and their causes: a podiatrist’s assessment of your foot health

Preventing a fall can also protect you from more complicated health issues. The causes of falls are numerous: unsuitable environment, eyesight issues, changed reflexes, chronic pain, or the use of certain drugs that impair attention. However, they should not obscure the importance of your feet in maintaining a good gait.

Bunions, a lack of ankle flexibility, or a loss of balance are all red flags that should not be ignored. A consultation with a podiatrist is the best way to detect potential problems and prevent falls. Your health care provider can assist you by proposing a walking and balancing test so that a foot orthosis, therapy, or exercises can be prescribed.

Your choice of footwear is equally crucial. When looking for shoes, keep the following characteristics in mind:

– Is the sole non-slip?

– How stable is the width of the heels?

– Is ankle support assured?

– Is it possible to use an orthopedic insole? 

Health consequences

Falling comes with both moral and physical repercussions. Due to their frail bone structure and poorer protective reflexes, most adults aged 65 and older constitute a susceptible category in the population. Indeed, falling can result in major health issues such as fractures and concussions.

Falls are also the top cause of mortality among those over the age of 65, as well as the greatest cause of pelvic fractures in women, resulting in difficulties performing everyday tasks and a decline in quality of life.

Fear of falling is a common phobia that can range in severity. If this fear becomes widespread, it can cause anxiety and reduce the desire to go out, stroll, or engage in potentially risky activities.

Preventing falls via exercise

Despite the anxiety that falls might cause, restricting your movements and activities is not the answer. Continuing to move, on the other hand, will keep your muscles engaged and your body and feet robust. The effects of aging may be particularly noticeable in your feet’s health, and by remaining active, you are taking care of a part of the body that we sometimes overlook.

You should be able to do workouts that enhance posture and balance while preserving muscular strength in the ideal situation. Yoga and Pilates are great mild exercises for improving general mobility and flexibility, as well as proprioception and stability.

Walking on a daily basis is another strategy to keep your feet active and preserve your ankle’s range of motion, in addition to providing a reason to get out of the house.

Lastly, if these exercises are not easily available to you or you do not believe they are appropriate for your condition, a podiatrist can assess your ailment and advise you to the appropriate treatment.

Podiatric care to keep your feet healthy and keep you from falling

Falls can also be caused by foot pain. The skin loses its flexibility as we age, and calluses and bone abnormalities may develop more easily. As a result, it is possible that your feet will be impacted, causing you difficulty walking. Fortunately, the podiatrists at the FootNetwork clinics in Quebec are here to help. Make an appointment for a consultation today.