The Impact of Neuropathy on BalanceIt is estimated that about 25% to 30% of Americans will be affected by neuropathy, one of the leading causes of the loss of balance. Neuropathy is a dysfunction of the peripheral nerves, which connect your brain to the rest of your body. If you have neuropathy, here’s what you need to know to protect your balance.
The Impact of Neuropathy on Balance
Complications from diabetes are a leading cause of neuropathy, but not the only cause. Others include age-related neuropathy, nerve damage from accidents, shingles, and auto-immune diseases. Regardless of the cause, neuropathy may lead to muscle weakness, loss of ankle reflexes, and impairment in balance, coordination, and gait control, all of which significantly increase the risk of falling and sustaining related injuries.
Three Steps to Protect Yourself
If you suffer from neuropathy, it’s important to do what you can to mitigate your chances of falling. There are three main ways to do this:
- Treat Your Neuropathy: Keeping your neuropathy in check is always a smart idea. Follow any doctor’s instructions and keep your blood levels in check. You can also eat healthier, get plenty of rest, quit smoking, and improve your balance with low-impact exercises. Be sure to check with a doctor about what exercise program would be right for your unique situation.
- Fall-proof Your Home: As we’ve mentioned previously, be sure to fall-proof your home. Remove any trip hazards such as clutter, power cords, or loose rugs. Install railings on stairs or areas where you could be prone to slipping, such as the bathroom. Also, make sure the lighting in your home is adequate, especially for late-night bathroom trips that might be easier to accomplish with a night light or two in a dark hallway.
- Get a Balance Screening: Knowing if you are at heightened risk of falling is key to determining your next steps. Maragal Medical is offering a free fall prevention screening for Medicare patients. For only 20-minutes of your time, you can get a thorough evaluation of your balance, and we can assess how you may be compensating for diminished nerve input due to neuropathy. With this evaluation, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to put a plan in place to improve your balance.
Check out this video to see the screening technology in action, and then schedule your appointment to get a personalized fall index and see your risks.
Prevent Future Falls Today
If you have neuropathy and suffer from numbness, tingling, or pain, be sure to think about what impact that condition could have on your balance. Call Maragal Medical today at (978) 537-0555 and reserve your spot for one of our free fall prevention screenings and learn what you can do today to prevent future tomorrow.