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  • Carol Michaels

Fear of Falling

falls, active aging, osteoporosis, senior fitness

Poor posture and fear of falling can cause stress and pain in the senior population.

The fear of falling is a serious concern for the elderly and can cause one to be anxious and stressed. Falls and fall-related injuries, such as a hip fracture, can have serious consequences. If you fall, it could limit your activities or make it impossible to live independently. Falls are especially dangerous for older women with weaker bones. If you are nervous about falling, you might withdraw from your daily activities and decrease your quality of life. Balance and posture exercises can help prevent falls by improving your ability to control and maintain your body's position whether you are in motion or stationary.

Poor posture will affect the mood of the elderly. Poor posture can create muscle tightness and shortening which can also press on nerves, causing pain especially in the neck and back. As we age, it’s common for the shoulders to round and for us to develop a head forward position. When one has a head forward position, the affected vertebrae can harm the discs and compress the surrounding nerves. The vertebrae need to be properly aligned; when posture is improved, there will be less compression on the nerves and decreased pain.

A good remedy is to perform few posture exercises and stretches in order to help decrease stress and pain. Use relaxation breathing. Research has shown that relaxation breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety. When feeling stressed, we usually take shallow breaths. While performing stretches to improve posture, inhale for 5 seconds and fill the torso up with air, then exhale from the lower abdomen for 5 seconds, pressing the navel in towards the spine. Imagine all of your tension and stress leaving your body with each exhalation.

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