Every year millions of senior citizens fall and one in five falls results in a serious injury. Sadly, many of these can be prevented. Improperly fitting footwear as well as problems with balance and gait can lead to a fall.
To reduce the chance of a fall with a serious injury:
- Exercise regularly to improve balance and increase leg strength. Programs like Tai Chi promote stability.
- Have your eyes examined every year.
- Get rid of tripping hazards in the home. Eliminate small throw rugs, add railings on both sides of stairways, improve lighting and review wiring for possible dangers.
Be Smart when Shopping for Shoes
It’s not a good idea to buy shoes at discount retailers without having the feet measured each time. A shoe that doesn’t fit well can be painful but also can be dangerous for those with balance and mobility issues.
Try the 1 – 2 – 3 test on the shoes in your closet:
Step #1: press the sides of the heel to make sure it’s stiff and won’t collapse.
Step #2: bend the shoe to check for good flexibility in the toe area.
Step #3: twist the shoe – it shouldn’t twist easily in the middle.
If your shoes don’t measure up, it’s time to go shopping! Be sure to:
- Shop later in the day when feet are largest.
- Have your feet professionally measured each time you shop.
- Try on shoes with your own socks and orthotic devices.
- New shoes don’t have a “break-in period”: they should be comfortable right away.
At Your Next Step we recommend the Moore balance brace, a lightweight ankle stabilizer designed to improve balance and stability in patients at risk for trips and falls. Call us for a routine exam and we will measure your feet and discuss the Moore balance brace as well as give you tips on the best footwear for your individual needs. Our in-house shoe store has a wide variety of stylish work, dress and casual shoes that can help with foot and balance issues.
Contact Us for any Foot Problem
Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified & qualified podiatrists, have extensive experience in helping patients with balance issues. You can find contact information on our website or call us to set up an appointment at our Ardmore, Paoli or Downingtown offices. Don’t become a statistic – begin working on your balance issues today!