5 Myths About Balance and AgingFebruary 20, 2020
MYTH 1: Falling is something that happens as you get older.
Believe it or not, but falls are not a normal part of aging. Loss of balance is a result from decreased function of different systems in your body. These main systems include: visual, vestibular, and somatosensory. See my next post, Balance part 2, for further explanation.
MYTH 2: If I decrease my activity and stay home, I will fall less.
Do you remember the time you were at home sick in bed? Do you remember how you felt the first day you felt better and then went back to your daily routine? For everyone, being immobile leads to decreased muscle strength and endurance. The body needs movement to maintain its function, including balance.
MYTH 3: Falling won’t happen to me.
According to the National Council of Aging, one in four people in the United States that are 65 years and older fall each year. Falls are the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions. Each year in the United States, more than 2.8 million injuries were treated in the emergency department, and more than 27,000 deaths were recorded. Unfortunately, there is a positive correlation with fall risk and deaths.
MYTH 4: I’m too old for my balance and strength to improve.
The human body is resilient and intelligent. Your body follows the “SAID” principle, which stands for Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. When your stress a certain tissue with exercise, your body will make gains to meet those demands. For example, when one practices getting up from a chair, the body will make adaptations to improve strength to get up from chair.
MYTH 5: Loss of balance and falls doesn’t mean anything to my overall health.
Hip fractures and head trauma are leading conditions that result from a fall, which leads to increased difficulty of living independently. In addition, injuries from falls are expensive. It is estimated that total medical costs in the United States resulting from falls was $19 billion.
There are ways to provide safe and optimal health by improving balance and strength. Reach out to your physical therapist to get advice and exercises to help you improve balance and improve overall function or call us for a free consultation.