Senior Health & Fitness: Importance of Proper Posture/Balance for Fall Prevention

Senior Health & Fitness: Importance of Proper Posture/Balance for Fall Prevention

It is no surprise that as we age, our bodies begin to change. Things that were once no big deal can turn into serious complications, and we often have to change our lifestyles in order to accommodate these transformations. Some people find that they have to exercise a lot more as older individuals and eat less than they did when they were younger, for example, while others find that they have allergies to foods and substances that never bothered them before. One of the most serious issues that tends to affect almost everyone, however, is slipping and falling. The risk of falling increases with age – and, somewhat unfairly, the risk of serious injury from falling also increases with age.  

Have you ever wondered why falls tend to lead to such serious injuries as we get older and how you can avoid this kind of fate? Luckily enough, there are options through Teachout Chiropractic and Wellness that can help reduce the risk of falling even in older age.  

Does fall risk really increase with age? 

According to the National Institute on Aging, more than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year. The risk of falling increases with age due to a variety of reasons. Some of these are due to physical changes as the years pass. Limited or reduced mobility, for example, can lead to an increased prevalence of falls in our later years. Failing eyesight, a reduced reaction time, and lowered muscle strength also play a part. Additionally, certain medications that tend to be prescribed primarily to senior individuals can also cause things like dizziness or fatigue.  

Some of these issues can only be addressed with your medical doctor. Medication complications, for example, are something that you should take the time to speak with your doctor about and ask for advice mitigating the risks. Other causes of an increased fall risk with age, however, can often be significantly reduced with effort on the part of the individual in question. Focusing on proper posture and balance training, for example, can help prevent many falls altogether.  

Importance of Proper Posture 

Good posture is absolutely vital in the fight to avoid falls. Your posture affects how you carry yourself, how you move, and even how you react to unexpected movement. Perhaps even more than that, however, is that your posture is an indication of your core strength. If you are able to carry yourself with a strong gait and proper posture, for example, then you have the core strength needed to carry off that movement. As we age, however, this strength naturally tends to decrease. This can lead to an increasingly worse posture as time goes on and can transform the way you move and the way the muscles engage as you do so. One of the main problems to keep in mind with poor posture is that it can lead to poor balance.

Importance of Balance 

You might not realize it, but your sense of balance plays an important role in your ability to move stably without danger of falling. This tends to be something that we take for granted until it begins to fade or poses a serious issue. If you are experiencing poor balance as you age, the good news is that there are methods you can use to help improve your movement and decrease the likelihood that you will fall and sustain serious injuries.

 A good postural exercise program, like the one offered at Teachout Chiropractic and Wellness can help you feel more stable and help to reduce your fall risk.  This exercise program focuses specifically on reclaiming and strengthening balance in older adults and can have multiple benefits on your health.  

When you increase your balance, you’re actually improving a number of different things. Muscle tone and strength, for example, is something that tends to decrease with age. This leads to poor posture and a decrease in balance. It stands to reason, then, that training balance can improve both of these issues and help reverse the changes that time has brought. The same is true of reaction time, bone strength, and even cognitive ability. Did you know that people with correct posture are seen as younger?! 

Additional Options to Improve Posture and Balance 

Chiropractic care helps achieve proper spinal alignment and nerve function, giving your musculoskeletal and nervous system their best chance at reducing your fall risk. Chiropractic adjustments can help align your joints and bones, reduce the stress that your body puts on your ligaments, and even help prevent muscle pain, strain, and overuse. As a result, your body will actually conserve energy as it uses your muscles more efficiently and can aid in the search for proper posture and balance. Chiropractic care and adjustments can help lead to a decreased fall risk, in other words, reducing the chances that you will sustain serious injury and other complications.  

For more information about how you can improve your balance and posture through chiropractic care, reach out to Dr. Teachout at Teachout Chiropractic and Wellness Center of Fort Myers today! Our experienced, knowledgeable and caring staff is glad to help.