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Falling correctly can help prevent injury

In a previous post, we discussed the added risks of being involved in a slip-and-fall accident in late adulthood. Compared to younger people, older adults have more brittle bones--making them more likely to suffer a break in the event of a fall. In addition, older adults who takes a tumble also have a higher probability of suffering traumatic brain injury.

While this may sound a bit scary, it doesn't have to be. In fact, most serious fall-related injuries can be prevented. You just have to know the right way to fall.

Unless you've made a career as an acrobat or stunt double, you're probably out of practice when it comes to falling. In today's post, we outline a few basic guidelines to help keep you safe during a fall:

  • Tuck: Whenever you feel yourself losing your balance, you instinctively reach out to catch yourself. However, your limbs are not very well padded--so using them to break your fall will likely result in a broken wrist, elbow or knee. Instead, tuck your limbs in close to your body, so that you fall on an area with more padding.
  • Turn:Watch any soccer match, and you'll notice that any time a player falls, they immediately roll to their side. Professional athletes know that falling directly forward or backward puts you at risk of serious injury to your spine and head. That's why it's always a good idea to pivot and redirect your fall onto your side.
  • Don't tense up:When you're not used to falling, suddenly plummeting towards the ground can cause your muscles to tighten. However, staying loose and relaxed during a fall can actually go a long way in reducing injury.

As you get older, you become less steady--and your chances of falling increase. However, by retraining your body to fall correctly, you can significantly reduce your chance of injury.

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