Watch your steps with Sohl Foot & Ankle
It’s fall y’all, but don’t fall…please! There is never a good time to take a fall. It happens to the best of us though. Sometimes it’s not our fault, sometimes we might have to blame ourselves, and sometimes medical issues set us up for an unfortunate encounter with Newtonian Gravitational Physics.
When people fall while walking, it is the result of our center of gravity pulling beyond the bounds of our surface contact, i.e. our feet. There are numerous factors that determine whether or not we remain up right while walking. Most factors are obvious, but much are taken for granted. For this article, I’m going to mention just a few.
As we push into autumn and winter, friction (or lack thereof) can contribute to us falling. Wet leaves on the sidewalk or pavement can cause our feet to just slide out from under us. If the temperature dips to freezing, be mindful of black ice when you approach your car or step off your porch. Also check the soles of your shoes… are they smooth or treaded?
Distractions also contribute to falls. Several recent studies have found that using a smart phone while walking has become a significant risk factor for sustaining a fall. Most of us have done this at least once and of course we have been lucky to not fall… yet. Stay focused.
Previous injuries can set a person up for chronic falls if a deficit is not addressed. For instance, after someone sprains their ankle, a lingering delay in proprioception (the sensation of your own body position) can predispose a person to significant reinjury. If that sounds familiar, let Sohl Foot & Ankle guild you to recovery.
For folks of advanced age, vision deficits make obstacles difficult to detect clearly. Visual acuity also becomes difficult in darker settings. To decrease these fall risks, improved walkway lighting (indoor and outdoor) and consolidated furniture use are vital to protecting seniors from tripping events. A prescription for a ‘Fall Risk Home Evaluation’ can help.
Leg muscle weakness can cause a subtle drop foot, causing a person to trip over their toes during walking activities. This clinical finding usually needs an AFO (Ankle-Foot-Orthosis) to prevent falls.
If you or your loved ones have experience with falls, call Sohl Foot & Ankle at 267-699-3839 for evaluations and solutions.
PHOTO CAP: Pay attention to where you are walking to avoid slips and falls