HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter
BALANCE & DIZZINESS: HOW YOU CAN FURTHER PREVENT FALLS
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Control Your Environment • The majority of falls occur in the bathroom. Consider setting up a shower bar and floor grip pads, even if you don’t feel unsteady right now. Make the change before you need it. • Many people are hesitant to start using an assistive walking device. There may be bad days when you may feel off-balance or dizzy. Even if you don’t use a mobility aid every day, it is good to have one around. If you are concerned about getting tired or weak during a walk, a rollator walker can double as a convenient seat. Keep Moving! Regular exercise can ensure that your body maintains the strength and conditioning necessary to stay upright. Balance deteriorates more quickly than strength or flexibility. If you don’t use it, you lose it! Talk to your primary care provider before starting an exercise routine. Reach Out! Treat falls seriously. If you or a loved one experiences a fall, please don’t shrug it off. A fall can mean that there’s an underlying issue that you may not even be aware of. If you’re feeling unstable or dizzy when walking around, don’t hesitate to seek help from a Physical Therapist. We can help improve your overall balance and stability challenges you may face in your daily life.
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Falls are not inevitable and, in the vast majority of cases, are easily preventable. Here are some tips to help prevent falls and keep yourself safe at home.
Warm-Up Before You Get Up Sometimes, you can get lightheaded or dizzy when first standing up after sitting for a while, due to blood pooling in your feet. When you get up too quickly, your body doesn’t have enough time to get the blood up to your brain before you stand up. You can help this by marching your feet or kicking your legs before you stand up to help your blood circulate. Keep Your Home Free of Tripping Hazards • Keep a clear walkway throughout your home. Make sure there are no objects or furniture that you have to step over. Make things easier on yourself. • Rugs should lay flat. A rug pad will help if your rug tends to bunch up, or side • Keep an eye on your pets. Know where they are so that they don’t become a tripping hazard. Consider using a baby gate if they like to stay under your feet on the stairs. By R. Dawson Marshall, PT, DPT
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