We all know someone who’s had a hip replacement as a result of a fall. At Compass Physio in both Castlecomer and Tullyallen, we see older people who have fallen over. Some are lucky to escape with some minor bumps and bruises, while other need invasive orthopaedic surgery. Going to hospital to have a hip replacement following a fall can be a traumatic event. It requires a lot of rehab and exercises. So this week we wanted to focus on reducing the risk of hip injuries by doing simple things to prevent a fall.
Reduce the risk of falling – Having proper footwear, well lit hallways, no rugs and handrails are just some of the ways to prevent falls. Just because you have a handrail or a well lit hallway does not mean you lose your independence. It’s an effort to keep you out of hospital in order to maintain your independence. So please do a yearly check on on your older relatives homes for trip hazards.
Manage weight – Being overweight means you’re not as agile on your feet and can’t react to a sudden change in surface. Managing weight will help improve overall balance and coordination. If you have osteoporosis you are more likely to have a fracture if you fall. Therefore managing your diet is a key step in the prevention of falls and surgery.
Balance exercises – Doing basic balance exercises on a daily basis has been shown to reduce the risk of falls in older people. This can be done when waiting for the kettle to boil or after brushing your teeth. Once you start the habit you should try to maintain it. Please consult your physio before starting to do any balance exercises so they can provide a progressive plan.
Regular exercise – Regular exercise will help with weight loss, but it’s important to maintain strength and conditioning in your muscles and bones. As we get older we can sometimes use it as an excuse not to do anymore exercise. It doesn’t have to be much, there’re lots of simple chair exercises to maintain strong lower limbs. Having an exercise bike or aqua aerobics are also easier on your joints
Regular check up – Once you get over 50 years old, it’s important to have regular check ups with your GP who can arrange dexa scans (check for osteoporosis) and review your medication. Your optometrist can also review your eyesight to help identify trip hazards as you walk.
Compass Physio Castlecomer (Kilkenny)