Falls or Injury Service

Falls and Balance

Have you ever thought about not going out on a visit because you don’t feel confident on your feet?

Feel a bit giddy when you first get up or stand up?

Do you lose your balance when you turn around quickly?

Feel like your legs just give way?

Falling becomes worrying for not just many of our patients, but also a concern for the families and carers of our patients which fall.

Sound familiar?

As we get older we can become more unsteady on our feet, but there are a few simple things that you can do to aid your balance and confidence.

  • Regular exercise in the form of walking is great, but also importantly are exercises to challenge your balance and increase your muscle strength.
  • Making sure that your feet are well looked after and kept pain-free.  It can be difficult to manage your own painful corn or callus, or it may become more difficult to manage your nails so regular visits to a Podiatrist are very important.
  • Wearing supportive, comfortable shoes & slippers (with backs on) can help prevent many trips & falls.
  • Make sure that you regularly have your eyes checked.
  • If you take many different medications, make sure that they are regularly reviewed by your G.P.
  • Keep hydrated.  As we become older, our sense of thirst diminishes; therefore it is vital that we drink lots of fluids to compensate.

Statistics

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/professional-resources-home/services-and-practice/health-and-wellbeing/falls-prevention-resources/

About a third of all people over 65 fall each year.  These rates are higher in those over 75.  Falls represent over half of Hospital admissions for accidental injury, particularly hip fractures.

How can we help at the Footcare Centre?

IF YOU ARE AT ALL WORRIED ABOUT FALLS, SPEAK TO US ABOUT OUR IN-HOUSE FALLS PREVENTION SERVICE:

  • Podiatry:  General footcare and ‘sore feet’ management
  • Assessment of Stability: Support, stabilise or rebalance feet where they need it, through gait, posture and balance assessment!
  • Footwear:  Podiatrists recommend shoes that offer stability and comfort.

Podiatry offered at The Footcare Centre hopes to help with the prevention of falls in a number of ways.

This includes assessing and treating foot pain, identifying and correcting underlying biomechanical and gait abnormalities, prescribing exercise programmes and issuing foot health and footwear advice.

Within the service our podiatrists can help in the recognition of medical factors influencing postural stability, gait and footwear.

Pain relief – Offering regular, palliative foot care (chiropody) to those who are vulnerable of falls is vital.  Keeping toenails in check, hard skin minimised and painful corns regularly removed enables people the freedom to remain more mobile and more comfortable on their feet.  With this reduced risk of ‘guarding’ painful feet and the reduced risk of adopting an ‘antalgic gait’ – an altered gait pattern due to pain we hope to help keep people on their feet.

Improved stability – The biomechanics service provided by our podiatry team can assess and evaluate gait anomalies which may contribute to potential falls and a treatment plan can be provided.  Exercises or specialist orthotic insoles, disease specific orthoses (such as for sufferers of diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis) may be appropriate and we may discuss referral to other members of the multidisciplinary team.

Assessment of Stability – The technology needed to acquire this information includes the latest pressure measuring device for clinical use, which consists of sensors in a platform; and a screen for displaying information.

We use pressure plate as part of our falls prevention, Annual Diabetic Reviews and within some of our Biomechanical Treatment Plans. Peak pressures are often of interest in determining the effectiveness of a cushioned foot orthoses in decreasing pressures under a sensitive ball of the foot.

Key aspects of our pressure analysis with a pressure plate is the postural assessment which measures your Centre of Mass and Balance this is then used as an indicator of poor core stability and structural anomalies.  These can be a contributing factor to recurrent falls which your podiatrist is well-placed to treating with orthoses.

Footwear clinic – The wrong footwear can be a major cause of foot instability, can lead to tripping or slipping hazards, or if ill-fitting can slip or cause pain.  We stock a range of footwear manufactured by DB-shoes which are ideal in the prevention of falls.  Non-slip soles of their house-shoes and outdoor ranges are flexible and lightweight, whilst the soft, comfortable breathable uppers can be fitted in a number of widths and depths to accommodate most foot-types. Book an appointment with Anuj Soni at The Footcare Centre for a friendly one-to-one complimentary foot-measure to discuss your footwear needs.

Speak to reception NOW on 01932 849373 in order to arrange your first appointment with a podiatrist.  Mention ‘falls prevention’ when booking so that we are able to best co-ordinate your care.