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Aging Safely: Balance and Stability



One of the many dangers that worsens in the last phase of our lives, and can speed aging and even demise, is the risk of a bad fall. The CDC recognizes the inherent risks, “Every second of every day, an older adult (age 65+) suffers a fall in the U.S.—making falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group.”

https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html


No one wants to have a fall. A hip fracture and hospital visit during our current pandemic is even more risky for anyone 65+. The CDC website has some useful suggestions and we've included some great resources below to consider in taking a preventative approach. In this article, we will focus on how Asian Bodywork and The Oiling the Tinman series will support long-term mobility and greater autonomy into the elder years.


What causes a fall?


There are many factors that influence you or your loved one's risk of falling. Let's look at the factors that can be addressed bodywork and movement practices:


Arthritis


This condition causes inflammation in the joints, which can result in painful movement and does affect balance. While the most common area of complaints of arthritis occur in the hands, inflammation can also impact the health of ankles, knees and hips, and contribute to the risk of a fall. Chinese Medicine is highly effective in treating arthritis. Cupping therapy combined with bodywork can reduce symptoms and even clear this condition.


Balance and Proprioception

Confidence in movement naturally declines as we age, normal tasks become more challenging


Decline in Tendon and Muscle Strength

Remaining active throughout life and into the advanced years is one of the best preventative methods to stabilize your balance and prevent or recover from a fall. From medalerthelp.org:

It seems logical, and indeed it is—if seniors can’t walk properly and keep their balance, they are more susceptible to falls. This is where the inactivity we mentioned comes into the picture. Without regular physical activity, we lose muscle strength and balance. Inactivity, in turn, even influences bone density and joint health—all of it leading to instability, lack of coordination, and the inability to break the fall effectively.

https://medalerthelp.org/blog/falls-in-the-elderly/

At Big Sun, we encourage your healthy movement through exercises and practices that you can take home with you. You can find these sets easily online for a small enrollment fee here, or simply call us and come in for a consultation or bodywork session!


Gait Problems

While these challenges of aging can be complex, they tend to feed into one another. Tendon weakness and loss of balance confidence can result in gait issues. Loss of confidence in your ability to get around can have detrimental impact on your activity, resulting in loss of bone density and muscle mass.


All of the above conditions can be fully treated or symptoms can be eased by the treatment methods provided by Big Sun. See our other recent blog about Gait rebalancing here, and be sure to subscribe to our email list so you never miss an update!




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