Are you at risk for a fall?

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Falling can often be prevented by working on your core and stabilizing muscles.

By Bill Bedford, Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services and Bedford Fitness

The holidays are here and we are all running around, doing errands and visiting family and friends.

How many times have you accidently bumped into someone when you were not paying attention, and, suddenly, fell down? How many times have you tripped on an uneven sidewalk or slipped on ice and fell down? Falling can often be prevented by working on your core and stabilizing muscles.

There is more to your core than six-pack abs or rectus abdominis muscles. Your core helps stabilize your spine. There are balance exercises you can do at home while holding onto a countertop—standing on one foot as long as you can with your knee flexed and standing on one foot while flexing your hip and pulling your knee up to ninety degrees. Walking straight while slowly turning your head side to side is also great for balance.

Exercising the core is a great start for stabilization, but other muscles need attention as well. Some people come to us for physical therapy because they feel weak and unstable. Oftentimes they have weak hips, glutes, legs and feet, and need strengthening exercises. Body ball squats, sitting and standing, moving one leg out to the side and across the other leg, and straight leg raises are great ways to help stabilize the hips, knees, as well as your lower back.

Your feet need attention as well and doing exercises can help. Try sitting with a straight leg moving the foot to the outside and inside, next move your toes up toward the ceiling, and finally do standing calf raises. These exercises will help keep you more stable.

Doing daily exercises, and being aware of your surroundings, is key to preventing falls. If you have fallen or feel you are at risk for a fall, contact Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy or Bedford Fitness today to schedule an appointment.

Call 440-973-4950 or visit BedfordPTFit.com. Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services and Bedford Fitness are located at 2 Berea Commons, Suite 10, in Berea.