Consequences of a fall.

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Abbigail Langstone- Wring. BSc  FETC  MAR FHT MCThA.

It is not only toddlers that find themselves unceremoniously sitting on their behinds in the most obscure of places having tripped, slipped or missed their footing for what appears to be no apparent reason. On a Saturday morning, whilst hurrying to peg out washing I found myself flat on my back on the patio having fallen down the door step. My recollection is that my ankle turned over and gave way and I went down. Landing on the left side of my bottom and cracking my head backwards on the edge of the opened patio door. Still grasping the washing basket in both hands I was amazed that on putting the basket down beside me I was able to stand up. If a little shakily. Nothing was broken thankfully.                                                                                            

I proceeded to hang out the washing and upon returning to my kitchen felt the back of my neck becoming very warm. Reaching up around my neck I discovered that the warm feeling was in fact blood leaking from a gash further up on my scalp. Luckily I am not squeamish and decided the best action was a cold flannel on the gash. Not being able to see the extent of the injury I telephoned my daughter who dutifully arrived, took one look at me sitting in the chair with a flannel on my head and said on removing the flannel “I don’t like the look of that” !                                                                                                                                                                           

So next stop Weymouth  Minor Injuries Unit. Where I was triaged and treated professionally with kindness and a dose of sympathy. I was told by a nurse that I had a lump the size of a tennis ball and that instead of stitching the wound she decided to glue it. Leaving the hospital clutching a Head Injuries leaflet I felt a little embarrassed and suddenly old, as my daughter helped me into the car to bring me home.The next day my back felt a little stiff and my right foot felt very tender. I took some Aconite and rubbed Arnica cream into my foot. It took several days for me to feel recovered. I hadn’t realized to what extent a fall could shake you up.  Some interesting statistics show that one out of three seniors will fall this year. Most of falls requiring hospital treatment occur in the home. Categorized as the Number 1 cause of injuries in seniors, falls result in broken bones, hip fractures, cuts and head injuries. Given this information I decided to look for some fall prevention advice and found the following from NHS Choices. 

Avoiding falls at home

Tips for preventing falls in the home include:

  • immediately mopping up spillages
  • removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
  • using non-slip mats and rugs
  • using high-wattage light bulbs in lamps and torches, so you can see clearly
  • organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
  • getting help to do things that you’re unable to do safely on your own
  • not walking on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • not wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
  • wearing well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
  • taking care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and seeing a GP or chiropodist about any foot problems

As a reflexologist I often find that foot problems not only impact on the function of the foot, affecting the flexibility and mobility but also the sense of stability. ©AW/2017