• Are You At Risk of Falling?

    by Howard Kimmel, DPM
    on Feb 2nd, 2018

An older Ohioan falls every two minutes on average, resulting in an injury every five minutes, six emergency department visits and one hospitalization each hour, and three deaths each day. The number of fatal falls among older Ohioans has increased more than 167% since 2000!! 

 

Some patients mistakenly believe that falls are a normal part of the aging process. It is true that our risk for falls increases as we age due mainly to body changes.But AWARENESS  is key…

 

At Buckeye Foot Care, we can help with some of  the prevention of falls. We will have you come in and do a full assessment of your gait and balance. We can help you by having you answer a full questionnaire regarding your balance. By combining our assessment and your history we can be able to determine what would be the next best steps.

An AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis) is lightweight brace with plenty of comfortable padding and shock-absorbing material. The brace is custom-made for each patient and slips easily into most supportive shoes without purchasing a larger shoe. Comfortable Velcro tabs hold the brace snug against the calf so there are no bothersome laces.

The AFO can help reduce the risk of falling by up to 60% by:

Reducing the body’s postural sway
Stabilizing the foot and ankle when the individual suffers from weakness or fatigue
Stimulating skin receptors that provide balance feedback to the brain
Improving the foot’s clearance to reduce the risk of tripping
 

In addition to helping where there are balance problems, the brace also benefits patients with ankle instability or weakness, with neuropathy and those who have arthritis in their feet or who have had a stroke.

 

Here are some simple things that you can do on your own:

·       Walking at least 15 minutes a day can build muscle strength and improve balance.

·       Programs like tai chi and “A Matter of Balance” can give patients tools to build balance, strength and flexibility.

·       Discuss  vision and hearing with your doctor  - Are they checked annually?

·       Tell patients to drink plenty of fluids and eat a well-balanced diet. Some tend to not hydrate due to incontinence issues.

 

Author Howard Kimmel, DPM Dr. Howard M. Kimmel, DPM provides advanced care for foot problems for patients in Brook Park, Willoughby, and Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Kimmel offers wound care, orthotic devices, comprehensive foot and ankle surgery, and several other forms of Podiatric treatment at Buckeye Foot Care. He is the only podiatrist in the state of Ohio to have a residency in pediatric foot and ankle problems. Dr. Kimmel is dedicated to providing patients in Ohio with top-notch care for foot and ankle problems, wound care, and other related issues. He also continues to build on his knowledge of podiatry and remains up-to-date on the latest technology and treatments in the podiatry field.

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