Did you know if you have arthritis, you are not only more likely to have a serious fall, but you are also more likely to experience severe consequences from that fall? When someone with arthritis falls, they are more likely to sustain an injury, with head injuries and bone fractures the most common injuries. If you’re over 65 and have arthritis, preventing falls must be a priority.
Arthritis and Falling
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, and those symptoms get worse with age. There is a strong correlation between osteoporosis, or the thinning of bone or bone loss, with falling. To complicate the situation, osteoporosis increases your risk of falling and increases the risk of having a fracture from the fall.
The Most Common Reasons for Increased Risk of Falls
- Medications: Often, drugs commonly used to treat arthritis can impact your balance or cause brain fog, which both increase your risk of falling.
- Fatigue: If you’re like most arthritis patients, you experience fatigue. Fatigue actually increases your chances of falling and getting hurt as you’re less aware of your environment.
- Gait or balance issues: When your joints are swollen or painful, you may struggle with imbalance or weakness on one side of the body.
Protect Yourself From a Fall
As they say, prevention is the best medicine, so making changes now can help you protect yourself from a fall or serious injury. If you haven’t already, consider:
- Improving your posture: Start doing exercises that help stabilize and improve your posture. Exercises that strengthen your core also help you maintain your balance. Yoga is another popular technique for staying flexible.
- Fall-proofing your home: Check your home for areas that might be high-risk for falls. Make sure rugs are anchored to the floor, so they don’t slip, put treads on all of your stairs, make sure you have a non-slip bath mat. You may also consider installing grab bars or a shower chair in your bathroom.
- Getting a fall risk assessment: New technologies on the market, such as the Hunova® Technology, can analyze your postural control, balance, core stability and actually predict if you are at risk of a fall. Margal Medical is offering free fall risk assessments at our Leominster, MA medical office. Check out our video to learn more.
Prevent Falls With a Personalized Plan
Working with a medical clinic like Maragal Medical offers you proactive advice and the tailored plan you need to protect yourself from a fall. We understand the impact arthritis can have on all aspects of your well-being. Our expert team and cutting-edge technology will help you recognize where you are most at risk and prevent a fall before it happens! Contact our office at 978-650-2710 to learn more.