In pain? Pre-empt future falls by reducing risk

balance exercise, strength exercise, arthritis fall, arthritis risk, arthritis painPain in more than one area of the body is associated with an increased risk of falling in people aged over 50 years, says a new study in Arthritis Research & Therapy.

A team of researchers looked at the evidence and found that those reporting multisite pain have double the odds of a future fall compared to their pain-free counterparts.

“Increasing public awareness of multisite pain as a falls risk factor and advising health and social care professionals to identify older people with multisite pain to signpost accordingly will enable timely falls prevention strategies to be implemented,” they conclude.

Doing regular strength exercises and balance exercises can improve your strength and balance, and reduce your risk of having a fall. Make sure long-term medication is reviewed at least once a year, especially if you are taking four or more medicines a day. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and have a sight test just in case.

Top tips to avoid falls at home

  • Immediately mop up spillages
  • Remove clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
  • Use non-slip mats and rugs
  • Have high-wattage light bulbs in lamps and torches so you can see clearly
  • Organise your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
  • Do not walk on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
  • Wear well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
  • Take care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and see a GP or chiropodist about any foot problems

You can request a home hazard assessment from your GP or local authority if you’re concerned that you or a relative may be at risk of having a fall, or if you know someone who has recently had a fall. (Source: NHS Choices)

Click here to read the original research 

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