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Aerosmith’s (Don’t) “Walk This Way”: Fall and balance risks increase with many factors. You can prevent falls.
Even if you think you may be in good physical condition, have good eyesight, and feel that your balance is not impaired, there are still several circumstances that play into the balance equation that may equate to a fall with injury.
As noted by Aerosmith front man and lead singer Steven Tyler, who recently suffered from a fall after slipping in a hotel shower, “Just quite frankly I passed out… I fell on my face, I woke up with the water running on me, not knowing where the hell I was.” Steven suffered a cut on his forehead and knocked out two teeth during a stop on Aerosmith’s South American tour. He was taken to hospital for a CT and walked out by himself a few hours later.
The following is an article that appeared in the Democrat and Chronicle on March 16th, 2011
Kathleen Barbehenn checks her balance as she goes about her day.
When the 63-year-old Ontario, Wayne County, woman is in the checkout line at the grocery store, she rests her hands on the cart and stands on one foot. At home, she’ll try to take off a shoe without having to lean against a wall.
In 2000, the total direct cost of all fall injuries for people 65 and older exceeded $19 billion. The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages, and may reach $54.9 billion by 2020 (adjusted to 2007 dollars).
More than one-third of all adults 65 years or older suffer a physical fall resulting in medical costs topping $19 billion per year (US) and expected to reach $50B by 2020. Because falls in adults is the leading cause of injury death, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have indicated a dramatic need for “improved methods for determining balance function and tracking age-related changes in balance, posture, and alignment” in older Americans. These improvements can promote the general welfare of an aging population and reduce national costs by promoting independent living.
Equilibrate creates a quantitative score for likelihood (or risk) of a fall. The image to the right is a a sample patient diagnosis output from a 70-year old subject prior to knee surgery, whose weakness was evident (especially with eyes closed), and who indeed suffered a fall before surgery. The ‘Alignment Score’ integrates upper and lower body output and assesses a ‘Risk of Fall.’ Moreover, following surgery, the subject’s progress was able to be tracked during rehabilitative therapy (data not shown). The data represent objective, typical, and actionable output, from the Equilibrate system, easily obtained during a 10-minute session of simple and non-demanding 15-second tests (e.g. standing with eyes open, standing with eyes closed, standing with feet offset simulating gait, etc.).