Did you know that the most common reason for admission to hospital in people aged 65 or over is due to falls related injuries? Every day 133 older Queenslanders have a fall requiring medical attention, even though falls are mostly preventable. That statistic is unbelievable and sadly it is a common story I hear daily in my clinic.
Falls have a significant impact on mobility and independence but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk.
Reasons that can lead to falls are multifactorial, which include, Medical Conditions, Physical activity, Vision, Medicines, Safety of your home environment, Nutrition, Continence and Fear of falling.
Specifically, factors that can lead to falls in regard to the feet include:
- Foot pain – condition such as bunions, claw toes, arch pain, heel pain, as well as nail and skin conditions can all contribute to falls.
- Balance and walking – foot posture, sensation, balance and walking style can increase the risk of falls. Low arches or feet that roll inwards or outwards have to work harder to keep the body balanced.
- Muscle weakness – muscles reduce in strength as we age and therefore elderly people are more at risk of falling as they lose muscle not only strength, but flexibility and endurance.
- Unsafe footwear – high risk shoe styles for a fall include backless shoes and slippers, high-heeled shoes, and shoes with smooth leather soles.
How can Podiatrists’ help to prevent Falls?
Podiatrists play an important role in treating foot conditions, providing regular consultations to assess and treat the ongoing changes of the foot as we age and assisting in preventing foot related falls.
A Podiatrist can offer many services to improve foot health and assist in prevention of foot related falls. These services include:
- Nail and skin care – address and treat any conditions that may impact on the foot
- Biomechanical assessment – identify any mechanical issues or deformities of the feet while standing, walking and running.
- Footwear review and recommendation – review current footwear and recommend features for footwear that support your feet and are suitable for your foot type.
- Orthotics – design shoe inserts both cushioned and/or corrective to support your feet in their ideal position.
- Deflective devices – provide various deflective, cushioning and corrective devices to protect the feet from pressure.
At ProMed, we are passionate about your foot health and preventing falls.
Call our friendly staff on 5522 1230 or book online.