Risk of Falling and Balance Chiropractic

Posted On 18 November 2021
By Dr Gus Gunther
Reducing Fall Risk

Every year, people injure themselves in slip-and-fall accidents. Most falls are caused by the interaction of multiple risk factors, some of which are modifiable.

A fall can be a major issue for public health and in serious cases, it can cause long-term disabilities or even death.

Here are some facts regarding the risk of falling:

  • The risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At the age of 80, over half of seniors fall annually and those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again
  • About one third of the population over the age of 65 fall each year.
  • More than 40% of people hospitalised from hip fractures do not return home and are not capable of living independently again, and about 53% of discharged adults for
    fall-related hip fractures will experience another fall within six months.
  • The risk of hip fracture is between 4 – 11% for a 50-year-old man and 13 – 22% for a woman.

Minimising fall risk

Healthcare providers can lower a person’s risk by minimising that individual’s risk factors. To prevent falls, healthcare practitioners identify and modify some of the risk factors that individuals and the whole community are exposed to in order to effectively reduce falls.

While age, poor vision and muscle weakness cannot be modified among the elderly, healthcare specialists can improve or modify psychoactive medications, the use of assistive devices and home hazards.

Why People Fall

Falls don’t just happen and people don’t just fall because they are getting old. More than one underlying cause is usually involved in a fall.

The most common reasons for falls are:

  • 31% Accident / Environment
  • 17% Gait / Balance disorder
  • 15% Other specified
  • 10% Dizziness / Vertigo
  • 5% Unknown
  • 4% Confusion, even for a short while
  • 3% Visual problems (poor depth perception, cataracts and glaucoma).
  • 3% Postural hypotension

Other important risk factors believed to be the root cause for many of falls incidents, are the effect of drugs on the elderly and the difficulties surrounding medication compliance.

Studies show that people who take four or more prescription drugs, have a greater risk of falling than people who take fewer drugs. This just shows that the health problems for which the person takes the medications may also contribute to the risk of falls.

Chiropractic for balance & reducing fall risk

Your balance is related not only to your ears and eyes but also to your feet, knees, spine and the nervous system that controls all these.

Seniors who have deficits in middle ear function or the vestibular system may have poor feedback from malfunctioning or arthritic knees, hips and spines causing falls. While the neck is crucial when it comes to balance, arthritis and other motion-deficits in the neck, can severely impact normal balance.

Even as you get older, falls are not an inevitable part of life. Chiropractors recognise that balance is constantly shifting and changing and that’s why they are uniquely trained in assessing joint function that may affect the function of the nervous system. Chiropractors believe that a well-coordinated nervous system means a well-coordinated you!

Take action

You can take action to prevent falls. Your chiropractor is your partner in taking action to prevent falls.

They can help you decide what changes to help in you living, not just a long time but living well. To help you minimise or prevent future problems or to help your family live better, call us today on (02) 9868 2509 or use our quick contact form.

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