The Correct Way to Get Back on Your Feet After a Fall
By Dr. Molly Casey
Winter for many means ice and slippery situations in more ways than one. It’s common even on the western coast in milder climates that folks experience slips and falls because of the excess rain -- if not snow and ice. So what is the best thing to do if you find yourself having slipped and fallen? Read below to find out.
The first thing to point out is that this article is no substitute for an emergency visit to the doctor, particularly if pain is extreme, movement is severely hindered, or an obvious fracture is present. If any of those are the case, get to a doctor immediately.
Falls clearly take a toll on the body. See your chiropractor as soon as possible because even if your spine didn’t take a direct hit, it literally bears the weight of your body. And changes in your biomechanics of how you move because of a banged hip or knee, for example, can cause your spine to compensate accordingly and this may cause greater issues.
Please note that even with bruising and pain, it’s ideal to see the chiropractor as soon as possible and know they can modify how they care for you based on the severity of the bruising and pain, etc.
Immediately after the fall, the first thing you should do is take a breath. Before you jump up and run off to where you were headed, just breathe and let your body settle and acclimate to what just occurred. That may even mean simply hanging out on the ground or floor for a moment. It allows you to center and ground yourself, thus making yourself more stable for when you do stand and proceed with movement.
Once you’re back into the daily life and routine, be willing to modify your movements. This may mean that you take a few days off from the gym until the stiffness and inflammation have subsided -- along with the pain. It may mean that your exercise routine is lightened by a certain weight range or limiting the time at the gym by half.
The point here is that too many people frequently undergo a fall and jump directly back into the daily sprint, quickly picking themselves off the ground and disregarding any pain and discomfort while diving headlong into the daily life and gym routine. Though pain does not tell the whole story -- or even most of it in regard to the overall health of the body -- when pain is present, we are supposed to listen to it. And folks, that modification of slowing down and lightening up may just save you from more severe injuries.
Inflammation and swelling are a natural part of the healing process. Ideally, one does not want to wipe out this process, rather modulate them. So in the couple days following the fall, use ice on the injured area for 10 to 15 minutes and then leave it off for 45-60 minutes; repeat as often as desired. This will help with pain modulation. In addition, natural anti-inflammatories will not wipe out the whole process but help guide the body along in it. Examples of these are garlic, turmeric, and bromelain (found in pineapple juice). The chiropractic adjustment also helps modulation inflammation and speeds the healing process by assisting in proper cell and debris cleanup at a physiologic level.
Slips and falls will happen at some point in life. There are things you can do to help minimize the negative effects of the falls and to increase the healing process and time. And it can be done naturally. The body is an amazing machine that has incredible capabilities of healing. Stop in at The Joint Chiropractic and let the chiropractors help you help yourself.
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