More than one-third of adults ages 65 and older fall each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These injuries are the most common cause of hospital trauma admissions and the leading cause of death among older adults.
It happens quickly and often without warning. You slip on a patch of ice, miss the bottom step or trip over the corner of a rug. We have all had such mishaps, but as our body ages, our resilience to bounce back dramatically decreases.
The CDC suggests that 20-30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as hip fractures or head traumas. Other common bone fractures include spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.
Fear is a huge component to fall injuries. Adults who have fallen develop a fear of falling again. As a result they limit activities such as exercise, which is crucial to maintaining balance, coordination and strength. By diminishing these mobile activities based on the fear of future injuries, their bodies can rapidly become fragile and unknowingly have just increased their actual risk of falling.
Boys Town Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine offers tips to help reduce the risk of falling:
Consult with your physician if you continue to experience pain, numbness or tingling in the body, swelling or severe bruising or under the skin bleeding after a fall. If you are over 65 years, please consult with your physician after any fall or trauma to the body. Always contact your physician if you have any questions regarding your health.