January - Balance
Approximately 30% of older adults will fall at least once each year. An injury, such as a fracture or sprain, will occur in 50% of those who fall. This in turn can result in a new disability or loss of independence. The good news is that many falls can be prevented. The risk of falling in older adults can be reduced when a physiotherapist prescribes specific exercises, activities or interventions.
If you have fallen or fear you are at risk of falling, your physiotherapist can help.
Physiotherapists Meena Sran (BC Women’s Hospital) and Clyde Smith (Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre) coach their patients on the importance of core strength and balance.
Balance Tips to prevent injury, alleviate pain and keep you moving for life.
- Try to be physically active every day.
Daily physical activity will help to improve your posture, muscle strength and balance. Enroll in a Tai Chi class or supervised exercise program. Your physiotherapist will recommend therapeutic exercise that’s right for you.
- Go for routine exams.
Have an annual physical assessment with your physiotherapist to detect impairments to your balance. Also, ensure you visit your doctor for an annual physical and have your vision and hearing checked to help you keep tuned-in as you move around.
- Wear proper footwear.
Wear a good pair of lace-up shoes that will support your feet and ankles, and avoid high heels and slippers because they can increase your risk of slipping and losing balance.
- Use a cane or a walker.
Aids such as canes or walkers are important to help maintain balance both inside and outside your home. View them as tools to help you keep active, not as signs of weakness.
To contact a physiotherapist to help you develop an exercise program to keep you skiing and boarding for life, visit movingforlife.ca.