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Protect Yourself From Falls

By Donna Stark

I love watching toddlers play outside, but the one thing that I love the most is when they pop back up after taking a tumble and proclaim to the world, "I'm OK!" And not that I like to see young children fall, but the urgency in their message (they are just fine and can continue playing without interruption) always makes me smile. But as we get older and the falls become more serious, those smiles become few and far between. Because instead of popping right back up and continuing with the day, we may find ourselves contending with serious injuries and a host of doctor visits.

Protect Yourself From Falls

The bad news is that if you are an older adult and suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, you may be at an increased risk of falling. That's because those two health conditions often lead to weak muscles, poor balance, and greater instability. But don't worry too much, because there is some good news to share as well! The good news is that there are certain exercises you can do to help reduce that risk. Take a look and consider incorporating some of them into your daily fitness routine.

  • Tai chi - Tai chi's slow, graceful, and continuous movements are designed to increase balance and flexibility
  • Swimming - Aquatic exercises allow a person to strengthen their muscles and improve their endurance without placing any additional stress on their joints or adding any additional risk of falling during the workout
  • Balance exercises - Exercises that focus on balancing skills are essential for joint pain sufferers because they ultimately help the body's joints become more stable and improve a person's ability to stay upright
  • Walking - Walking is another low-impact exercise that, in addition to improving a person's stability and balance, also helps to increase muscle strength and bone density
  • Weight training - Weight training is an excellent way to reduce the risk of falls because it can lead to stronger muscles around the body's major joints
  • Yoga - Yoga has been shown to reduce the symptoms of arthritis (pain, swelling, and instability) and can play a huge role in reducing the risk of falls among older adults
  • Stretching - Daily stretches can help increase blood flow and joint lubrication which can improve the body's range of motion and flexibility

Staying Healthy and Upright

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury among older adults, and those who suffer from joint dysfunction and pain are especially at risk. Fortunately, many of them can be prevented with a heightened awareness of one's surroundings and with exercises that improve muscle strength, balance, and overall stability. So make it a goal to stay upright during the new year and start those exercises today!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Prosper, Tex.

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