http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-senior-falling-image6333500It’s a common fact that the older we get, the more likely we are to fall. Out of those falls there could be potentially nasty injuries, including possibly life-threatening hip fractures, one of the main fears of the elderly.

To back up this claim, the British Geriatric Society conducted a study back in 2010, which showed some startling statistics. Out of 320,000 people, 15,500 of these will have a fall in one year. That’s a staggering amount, and when you consider that out of those who do fall, 360 of them will sustain that worrying hip fracture, you can understand why the fear of falling can sometimes take over people’s lives.

The problem is that when you fear something, you subconsciously make it more likely to happen because you alter your behaviour to what you think is minimising risk, but in actual fact you’re creating different risk factors with the same outcome. For instance, an elderly person who is worried about falling might decide to not leave the house as much, to avoid the risk of falling whilst out. What does this do? Well, it impacts on the person’s social life, which affects cognitive function through lack of interaction, and also means their mobility is cut right down. Both of these are risk factors for falls, and there is nothing to say that person won’t fall in the house.

It’s a vicious circle, but one that a simple treatment can help with.

Chiropractic has been shown to be highly effective in treating the fear of falling, because it helps minimise risk factors, which then cuts down on the fear. The main causes for falls in the elderly are visual problems, postural hypotension, dizziness, gait issues, stiffness, osteoporosis and arthritis affecting mobility, cognitive problems, and medication side effects. Chiropractic successfully helps treat mobility problems, gait issues, alleviates the symptoms of osteoporosis and arthritis, and can also help cut down on the need for powerful medications, which create dizziness symptoms in themselves.

How does chiropractic work?

Improving bodily awareness can help reduce the risk of a fall, and this is exactly what chiropractic does. Through manual manipulation to the spinal area, incorporating the surrounding muscles, tissues, and joints, misalignments are ironed out, and muscles are freed up. One of the main points of chiropractic is the belief that treating these misalignments will help with many different medical problems, in a holistic, and non-invasive way, without the need for surgery or powerful medications.

Musculoskeletal problems can affect balance and gait, which of course we mentioned can cause falls. The pain and stiffness of arthritis and osteoporosis can be treated effectively and successfully with chiropractic, allowing the individual to feel freer as a result.

A worrying statistic is that in the UK the most common cause of death in the elderly is from falls and their subsequent injuries. It’s no wonder that the fear can easily take over, but it needn’t be a major factor. If you would like to discuss how chiropractic could help you, call the practice now on (03) 9381 1991 to arrange an appointment.