With the cold drizzle and freezing rain that hit many of us across the country I saw people slipping and sliding all over the place walking to and from their cars. I almost bit the dust myself over the weekend on icy bricks. Last year getting out of my car to pump gas at Sam's Club, I stepped out of the car onto a slick spot and slid all the way to the floor landed on my arse and banged my head on my car door. All I could think is damn are there video camera's at the gas pumps? If so, someone is laughing at my play by play. Not to mention it was one of those days I had a big coat on but only my pajamas underneath. It wasn't a pretty fall and my coat did pop open mid slide. I'll let your imagination run with that sight. Obviously we can fall at any age but once we get into our 40's and 50's them bones them bones are wearing down and becoming fragile. Unfortunately I am faller and at my age it's no longer funny not to mention I can't get up real quick and brush off like nothing happened. My last fall was a couple of years ago in the Brio parking lot face first. It hurt so bad I had to crawl to the side because I heard a car coming and didn't have the strength to get up, but also didn't feel like getting ran over.
The other piece of this puzzle is that as we age our reflexes slow down, add to that changes in muscle mass and body fat and you have a recipe for a bad fall leading to a fracture or a break. As early as 40 we should start working to slow the process of these betraying body changes that are bound to take over as we age. Now, I know every fall does not mean a broken bone but it could still mean a pretty bad injury. And let's be honest recovering from anything seems to get harder and harder and take longer than it used to. As you get into your 60's, studies have shown that among Americans age 65 and older, fall-related injuries are the leading cause of accidental death. Balance exercises can help people prevent many falls, increase their level of activity, and alertness, no matter what their age. Along with balance exercises doctors recommend the following to help with balance.
* Do muscle-strengthening exercises.
* Obtain maximum vision correction.
* Practice using bifocal or trifocal glasses.
* Be extra cautious after drinking
* Wear lower heels
My question was always is there a safe way to fall? Do I want to put my hands out and risk my wrists? Do I want to just fall back and hold my hands up and let my arse take the brunt of a fall? What is the best way to fall to allow the least amount of injury? Obviously landing spread eagle on the floor next to the gas pump probably isn't the answer. Here is what I found from the National Institute of Health.
*Being tall appears to increase your risk of a hip fracture.
*How you land increases your fracture risk. Catching yourself so you land on your hands or grabbing onto an object as you fall can prevent a hip fracture.
*Protective responses, such as reflexes and changes in posture that break the fall, can reduce the risk of fracturing a bone. Individuals who land on their hands or grab an object on their descent are less likely to fracture their hip, but they may fracture their wrist or arm. Although these fractures are painful and interfere with daily activities, they do not carry the high risks that a hip fracture does.
We all can assume that the most serious falls happen when people are older. What we need to understand though is that steps to prevent and treat bone loss and falls can never begin too early. Many people begin adulthood with less than optimal bone mass, so the fact that bone mass or density is lost slowly over time puts them at increased risk for fractures. Here are 10 ways to protect your bones. Since I have lost quite a bit of height lately I am heading to get a bone density test. It's important that women remain proactive in knowing if they are at risk for developing osteoporosis or whether they have lost so much bone that they already have osteoporosis. It seems that only a BMD (Bone Mineral Density) test can measure current bone density, diagnose osteoporosis, and determine fracture risk. Talk to your doctors if you feel you need the test.
Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!
Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
*Above Picture by hollywoodstreetking.com