There are a lot of simple things we can do to prevent a fall. Many of the devastating injuries I see every day in my medical practice are a result of a fall. I’m hoping the fall prevention measures I share with you will become part of the habitual things you do to protect yourself from injury.
Wear shoes that fit. We all know it’s not good to wear shoes that are too small. They hurt and mangle your feet slowly… over a lifetime, but generally don’t result in traumatic injury. On the other hand, an oversized shoe can make you fall. Here’s why. Your brain knows exactly where your foot and your toes end. It lifts your foot just high enough to clear a step or a rise in a sidewalk.
Your brain has trouble sensing foot position when you wear shoes too long or so loose they fall away from the bottom of your foot.
Last week I saw a patient who was wearing an oversized pair of shoes that caused her to trip. She injured her knees, both shoulders and cracked a tooth. If you find yourself suddenly stumbling a little more often, look to your shoes (as well as your brain, your nerves, your ears and eyes) as a potential source of the problem. You might discover a correlation between the stumbling and a certain shoe with a curled up toe.
I had a pair of backless sandals that were quite comfortable–because they fit loosely–but they often caught on the edge of stairs, resulting in the occasional uphill stumble. Once I realized it was the common denominator, I got rid of the shoes.
Fit your shoes to your feet.
Don’t think you can overfill big shoes with socks or insoles. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t buy it, even if it is on sale and it is gorgeous.