If you are about 60 years old or older, it’s likely that you have noticed that your balance and coordination while you are walking or doing everyday things on your feet, are not as good as they once were.
You may also have noticed that you have gradually developed an odd fear of falling that you never even knew was possible. This is a common issue that occurs with age. However, it does not have to be a fear you just live with.
The odd thing about having a fear of falling is that it tends to grow over time. This then tends to lead you to decrease your activity level and your level of independence as you avoid certain things you used to do without thinking about it. All of this is because you are worried you will fall and injure yourself due to lack of balance/coordination.
It becomes a vicious cycle.
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of fear of falling and/or poor balance/coordination as you age.
Having feet with high arches or flat feet, toe deformities or foot and ankle pain can certainly affect your balance and coordination. If you have numbness in your feet, toes or ankles, this also affects your balance since you are literally not sure where your foot is in space.
This numbness can occur as the result of diabetes, low back pain that travels down the legs to the feet, or poor circulation issues. Generalized weakness and stiffness in the legs and core can also contribute to a lack of balance.
So how do you prevent falls and stop this fear of falling from multiplying and stealing your mobility, independence and fun in life? First you need someone to help you determine why this is happening and which one of the reasons above is causing the issue. Once you know this, then it can be addressed and fixed so that you can get your mobility and independence back, which leads you to get rid of your fear of falling.
Physical therapists are highly trained experts in helping people to prevent falling and to get their life back.
If you are ready to start doing things again without worrying about losing your balance and falling, and you want to take back your freedom, independence and mobility, then please do one of the following:
- Call 717-245-0400 to schedule a one-on-one, free screen with one of our experts so that they can listen to the issues you are having and tell you how they can best help you.
- Call to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our experts if you prefer to chat on the phone versus face-to-face so we can listen to the issues you are having and tell you the next best step.
- Email me at email@example.com if you would rather connect that way first to ask me some questions and chat with me about your issues so I can make recommendations about what to do next.
Steve Miller is the owner of Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column will appear bi-monthly in the Thrive section of the Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com.
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