Falls can be Devastating in Older Adults

Falls in older adults often lead to fractures and other injuries that can result in loss of mobility and the freedom to move independently. Any adult who feels unstable or unsure when walking should participate in a fall prevention program.

Foot Pain Increases Risk of Falls

Studies show that foot pain can increase the risk of falls. Foot pain changes how we step and can lead to instability.

Studies Show that Simple Changes can Dramatically Reduce the Risk of Falls

A 2011 study showed that a fall-prevention program introduced in a group of older adults reduced falls by 36% compared with a control group, according to a June British Medical Journal study.

Investigators put subjects with foot pain to two groups. All received a year of routine foot and ankle care. The 153 persons in the intervention group also participated in a program including orthoses, footwear advice and subsidies, home foot and ankle exercises, and fall prevention education.

36% Reduction in Falls with Podiatric Fall Prevention Program

Participants who received foot orthoses, shoe recommendations and exercise advice suffered 36% fewer falls than those who did not. One participant in the intervention group sustained a fracture compared with seven in the control group. Investigators found significant improvements in the intervention group in strength, range of motion, and balance

Fall Prevention Program at Foot & Ankle Center of Washington in Seattle

We have developed a fall prevention program based on current studies for patients in our Seattle foot and ankle clinic. Our fall prevention program includes:

  • Evaluation of fall risk
  • Recommendations on proper shoes and referral for shoe fitting
  • Custom or prefabricated orthotics. Custom orthotics provide greater stability but are more expensive. Prefabricated orthotics provide less stability but are less expensive. We will work with you to determine the best solution for your particular situation.
  • Home exercise program or referral for exercise education program with physical therapist.

Avoid Falls – Make an Appointment Today

If you or a loved one might be at risk for a fall, contact us today for an appointment in our Seattle foot clinic. Ask for a Fall Prevention Evaluation.

References

  • Spink M, et. al. Effectiveness of a multifaceted podiatry intervention to prevent falls in community dwelling older people with disabling foot pain: randomized controlled trial. Brit Med J. 2011; 342:d3411
  • Al-Aama T. Falls in the elderly: Spectrum and prevention. Can Fam Physician. 2011 Jul;57(7):771-6

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