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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Preventing Falls this Season

Winter weather can lead to hazards like ice that can cause you to fall. If you injure your bones, joints or the surrounding soft tissue, you may require orthopedic care. Edgar A Fike, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary’s Physician Associates, discusses what you can do to avoid falls this season.

Q. Who is at higher risk for falls?

A. Older adults are at highest risk for falls. More than 1 in 4 older adults fall each year in the U.S. Others at risk include those with weakness in muscles, legs and joints; people with sedentary lifestyles; and individuals who engage in certain sports. Those who take medications that can affect balance may also be at higher risk for falls.

Q. What can I do to prevent falls?

A. There are several things you can do, including making your home and yard safe and free of obstacles. Make sure to clear ice and snow outside and check to see that you have proper lighting both inside and out.

You should also stay active, as physical activity can make you stronger and improve your balance. In addition, wear appropriate footwear to help you stay on your feet.

Q. How can I prevent falls through exercise?

A. Try exercises that improve your balance. Tai chi is a good choice for this. You should also work on building muscle strength by using weights or resistance bands during exercise. Talk with your doctor about the right routine for you. You may want to ask about physical therapy services to help build strength and balance.

Q. What should I do if I fall and injure myself?

A. Fractures must be treated right away, as they can cause pain and disability. If you think you may have broken a bone or injured a ligament or tendon, seek immediate care and be sure to follow up with an orthopedic doctor to help you recover. You should also seek immediate care if you impact your head to ensure you do not have a concussion.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fike, call 580-249-3468 or book online at stmarysphysicianassociates.com

SOURCES: National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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St. Mary's Physician Associateshttp://stmarysphysicianassociates.com
St. Mary’s Physician Associates is dedicated to caring for patients at every stage of life, offering both primary care and specialty services to the people of Enid and surrounding communities. For more information on our providers and services, visit: stmarysphysicianassociates.com

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