Falls, including slipping and tripping, happen to the best of us and may be embarrassing or inconvenient. However, injuries directly resulting from a fall in people aged 65 or older are the leading cause of hospitalisation and one of the top three causes of injury-related death in New Zealand (NZ ACC, 2012).
How can we prevent falls, have more stability and gain control in our feet?
Causes of falls in the elderly are multi-factorial but include poor balance, ill-fitting footwear, and slower reaction times. Foot pain, reduced range of motion, toe weakness and deformities have each been shown to be independent risk factors for falling. Prevention of falls in older people is effective with multifaceted podiatry intervention (Menz, Spink, Landorf, Hill, & Lord, 2013), as changes made early make considerable improvements to “foot and ankle strength and range of motion, balance, and functional ability” (Menz & Spink, 2012).
Footwear can pose a risk for people if it’s incorrectly fitted or is the wrong type of shoe for the activity. LaTrobe University have identified common footwear risk related factors and created several falls related guidelines for falls prevention. Footwear related risks include “walking in socks, wearing shoes with no laces, straps or buckles, increased heel height and reduced contact area of the sole”(Spink, et al., 2011).
How can Formthotics help to prevent falls?
- Support your feet
- Comfortable to wear
- Stimulates more control with balance
- Enhanced stability and reduced falling
Formthotics helped to create a significant change in static and dynamic postural stability in a study carried out in Japan. The study also went on to show Formthotics helped the subjects’ balance without standing on an orthotic, which indicates orthotics improve neuromotor function and postural stability. Rome, Richie and Hatton (2010) found an foot orthotic device may correct a misalignment at the foot by realigning the lower limb more superiorly. The study also concluded “foot orthoses also may act to dissipate and absorb this impact, subsequently affecting levels of fatigue, the intensity of muscular work, performance and comfort.”
Rome, Richie and Hatton (2010) found a foot orthotic device may correct a misalignment at the foot by realigning the lower limb more superiorly. The study also concluded “foot orthoses also may act to dissipate and absorb this impact, subsequently affecting levels of fatigue, the intensity of muscular work, performance and comfort.”
Menz, H. B., & Spink, M. J. (2012). Lower extremity focus helps cut risk of falls. Retrieved from Lower Extremity Review: http://lermagazine.com/article/lower-extremity-focus-helps-cut-risk-of-falls
Menz, H. B., Spink, M. J., Landorf, K. B., Hill, K. D., & Lord, S. R. (2013). Older People’s Perceptions of a Multifaceted Podiatric Medical Intervention to Prevent Falls. Journal of America Podiatric Medical Association, 103(6), 457- 464.
Rome, K., Richie, D. J., & Hatton, A. L. (2010). Can Orthoses and Insoles have an impact on Postural Stability? Podiatry Today, 23(10), 46-51. Retrieved from https://www.podiatrytoday.com/can-orthoses-and-insoles-have-impact-postural-stability
Spink, M. J., Menz, H. B., Fotoohabadi, M. R., Wee, E., Landorf, K. B., Hill, K. B., & Lord, S. R. (2011). Effectiveness of a multifaceted podiatry intervention to prevent falls in community dwelling older people with disabling foot pain: randomised controlled trial. BMJ(342).