Falls in older people are a major public health problem, with 1 in 3 people aged 65 and over falling each year. It is well recognised that falls result from the interaction between environmental hazards and physiological risk factors, such as impaired vision, muscle weakness, and slow reaction time. More recently, foot problems, which affect 1 in 3 older people and are a common reason for consultation in primary care have been associated with falls. Specifically, foot pain, reduced range of motion, toe weakness, and toe deformity have each been shown to be independent risk factors for falling. In addition, footwear related risk factors for falls include walking barefoot, walking in socks alone or wearing shoes with inadequate fixation (that is, no laces, straps, or buckles), increased heel height, and reduced contact area of sole. Given the emerging evidence that foot problems and inappropriate footwear increase the risk of falls, several guidelines for falls prevention recommend that older people have their feet and footwear examined by a podiatrist.
Learn more about how podiatric intervention can help prevent falls with our guest, Dr. Kroboth, DPM, this Saturday morning at 11 on The Senior Answer on 100.7FM KKHT or on line at senioranswer.org