HealthBeat: Preventing a fall


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Winter brings with it snow and ice covered areas, and that can make for not only slippery driving conditions, but also walking.

No matter your age, a fall on the ice can lead to serious injuries.

Tracy Sveeggen says over the years she’s noticed her balance isn’t as steady as she’d like. To take action, she decided to become a client at OsteoStrong, a local business focused on improving skeletal strength.

“We’ve been going through doing the machines weekly, and then every now and again we do like little tests to see how things are going,” Sveeggen said.

One of those tests is looking at what her risk of falling is.

“It assesses the bodies ability to right itself if you were to trip and prevent a fall,” Dr. Becky Bear said.

Bear, a chiropractor at OsteoStrong, says assessing a persons fall risk is always important, but even more so as we head into colder months.

“People who have balance challenges almost always have a higher incidence of falls. And of course going into the winter time falling is a major concern for a lot of people,” Bear said.

In order to improve balance, while also strengthening the bones she says high impact or heavy lifting is necessary.

“That would include things like weight bearing exercises at home, hopping, jumping, running and those types of things. That’s also what we do at OsteoStrong,” Bear said.

That’s exactly what Sveeggen has been doing over the last 10 months. She says she’s noticed a big difference in her stability, and after seeing her numbers, she has proof.

“For her to go from 19 to 17 is really, really awesome. We just wouldn’t have expected that,” Bear said.

Tracy’s numbers may have only improved by 2 points but experts say that small jump makes a big difference.

Out of three categories, low, medium and high risk Sveeggen started at a low risk. Bear says starting at a low risk doesn’t leave a lot of room for improvement, so her results are impressive.

“Just seeing it in black and white. I mean you can feel one way, but seeing it in black and white is another story,” Sveeggen said.

While she says she wasn’t doing any physical activity before starting at OsteoStrong, but happy with her results, she plans to continue working on her wellness.

Bear says all first sessions for clients are free.

For information on signing up with OsteoStrong, click here.

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