Falls are a leading cause of spine injury among older individuals, but younger populations aren’t immune from falls either. Whether it’s from losing your balance or missing a step while walking down the stairs, a fall injury can quickly take a serious toll on your spine. Today, we share five tips for strengthening your spine and avoiding painful falls.
Avoiding Fall Injuries
Consider these five tips if you want to keep your spine strong and injury-free from falls:
1. Balance Training – Although balance training typically focuses on your lower half, the benefits are reaped by your whole body in the form of injury prevention. Balance training is especially important as we get older, as we slowly start to lose some of our coordination. Depending on your age and ability, you can find a balance training program that fits your need rather easily. If you’re comfortable trying a stability ball or a wobble board, those can be great options, but if you’d rather just do some balance training on your own, stand near a counter or wall and practice balancing on one leg for 20 seconds at a time. If you work hard to improve your balance, you’ll greatly reduce your likelihood of a spine injury from a fall.
2. Pay Attention – It seems like more young people are heading to the doctor’s office these days because they weren’t paying attention to the world around them. If your head is looking down at your phone, you’re at risk for a fall injury. Pay attention to each step as you climb or descend stairs, and keep your head up when you’re walking outside on the sidewalk. All it takes is one misguided step to send you sprawling on the pavement.
3. Wear The Right Shoes – If your shoes are lacking tread, or you’re wearing an open-toed shoe in the wrong setting, you’re setting yourself up for slips, trips and falls. Only wear oped-toed shoes or sandals when you know you are going to be walking on smooth, dry surfaces. On the flip side, during the winter months it’s imperative that you wear shoes that can handle a patch of ice. Spine injuries from falls can be more severe in the winter as the ice and ground are generally harder than most surfaces. Plan ahead and always wear the right shoe for the occasion.
4. Strengthen Your Spine – Another way to prevent spine injuries from falls is to ensure your spine is strong and durable. You can do this by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and taking multivitamins that ensure you get all the nutrients your bones need to stay healthy. Osteoporosis can put a person’s spine at risk for fracture, so be sure to get regular bone density screenings as you get older, and heed your doctor’s advice for strengthening your bones.
5. Take Your Time – Another reason people suffer spine injuries from falls is because they are in a hurry. Whether they’re trying to run down the stairs or they don’t wait for their spotter to return before climbing a ladder, a number of patients suffer a fall because they were rushing to get somewhere. Be patient, because nothing is going to set you back more than a trip to the doctor’s office if you fall and get injured!