The chances of sustaining an injury from a fall begin to increase around the age of 18 and peak around age 75, according to Los Angeles spine surgeons, although you may suffer damage to your spine from a fall at any age. Taking steps to prevent dangerous falls can reduce your risk of suffering permanent spine damage or lingering back pain.
1. Do Home Safety Checks
Most hazardous falls take place right in your own home. Regardless of age, certain things around your home could increase the risk of slipping and falling. Check for:
- Weak steps inside or outside of your home
- Throw rugs or area rugs with little or no backing
- Objects placed within high traffic areas, such as toys and shoes
2. Know When to Ask for Help
Don’t take unnecessary risks when doing things like putting up holiday lights or cleaning the gutters. If you’re going to be standing to reach high areas, make sure the step stool is stable or ask someone to hold the ladder.
3. Get Regular Exercise
Falls can be the result of some level of instability. One way to minimize this risk is to get regular exercise to keep bones, joints, muscles, and tendons strong and healthy. Your spine is actually partially supported by muscles on the “other side” of your backbone, including your abdominal muscles. Increase stability with:
- Daily walks or runs
- Core strengthening exercises
- Low-impact aerobics
- Water-based exercises
4. Make Dietary Adjustments
Eating a balanced diet that includes an assortment of essential nutrients can strengthen the bones of your spine and supporting joints. Doing so can minimize age-related degeneration that may further increase your fall risk. Watching your diet may also prevent osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and increases the odds of suffering a break from a fall. Strengthen your spine with:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Bright colored fruits
- Lean proteins, such as skinless chicken or turkey
Signs of damage to your spine may not always be immediate after a fall. This is especially true when supporting discs, joints, or muscles are injured. After a dangerous or hard fall minimize movement or see a board-certified orthopedic specialist if you experience pain later.
If you’ve experienced a serious fall or other injury that’s lead to chronic back pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Spine Institute Center. Medical Director Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of spine specialists can determine the root of you pain and review all possible treatment options that align with your lifestyle and pain relief objectives. Call (310) 828-7757 today and schedule your in-person consultation.