Fall Related Hip Fractures In Elderly: Throw Rugs To Blame?


Elderly couple walking in park in autumnA new study suggests one of the most common causes of falls resulting in hip fractures for elderly individuals is throw rugs.

In fact, every 11 seconds, an elderly person receives emergency room treatment for injuries sustained in a fall. This situation cannot go unattended.

At least that is the opinion of Dr. Jason Guercio, the author of the study in question. UPI reports Guercio’s statement from the press release:

“Falls leading to fracture can result in disability and even death. Understanding the risk factors for fractures can help to focus efforts on decreasing them, and guide resources and appropriate interventions to prevent them.”

The is the next step for Guercio, then, is looking outward for solutions.

When considering what solutions to entertain, it is important to understand what causes tripping over objects to result in a fall. One factor immediately comes to mind: balance.

Balance is what keeps a person stable, on their feet, and allows for human mobility. Though there are other factors, such as previous falls and strength, LER magazine discusses a series of studies that identify balance as a leading cause of falling.

Further, they entertain an interesting treatment program for falls in the over-65 demographic. Yoga, which relies on central precepts of balance and mind-body connection, could be a great tool for preventing both falls and the subsequent injuries associated with falling.

Though there might be limited data for yoga and it’s correlation to balance in the older population, one study found that a group of younger adults who completed a yoga program saw a 228% increase in balance. The control group in the study saw no change in balance. This, perhaps, lends credence to the idea of exploring yoga as an option for the elderly.

The true next step for Dr. Guercio and associates interested in exploring solutions to fall-related injuries in the elderly might indeed be experimenting with yoga as treatment. On the other hand, it might be necessary to establish a stronger understanding of the relationship between the likelihood of tripping and likelihood of falling.

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