I experienced my first wipeout (ice and gravel)while roller blading earlier this week and landed entirely on my right wrist. I was wearing wrist guards and they did there job well (I was wearing a helmet too).
How does this relate to PF?
Although my wrist was ok the shock went up my arm and my shoulder region was injured. I had injured the same shoulder 10 years ago falling off a mountain bike. My point is that once you injure a body part you need to keep maintaining it because it is prone to re-injury. This is sad but true for PF as well.
I found a depressing but interesting study http://www.jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v281n20/abs/joc81206.html from the Journal of the American Medical Association Vol. 281 No. 20 May 26, 1999.
re; Fall- Induced Injuries and Deaths Among Older Adults.
The Results Summary; 'For the 25 year period of study, the number of Finns aged 50 years or older with fall induced injuries increased substantially, from 5622 in 1970 to 21,574 in 1995 a 284% increase.'
Conclusions; 'The number of older persons with fall induced injuries is increasing at a rate that cannot be explained simply by demogrpahic changes. PREVENTIVE MEASURES SHOULD BE ADOPTED TO CONTROL THE INCREASING BURDEN OF THESE INJURIES.'
Another Study I found from the Tribune News Service(USA)December 1992
BALANCE PROBLEMS FOUND TREATABLE BY TRAINING.
Results of the Study;'In generally healthy people as old as 90, exercise and balance training can reduce the tendency to fall by 50%. Therefore, sense of balance can be improved.'
Each year about 250,000 Americans fracture their hips, resulting in long term disability, pain, loss of quality of life and 10% in death.
This does not even touch on the mental aspects, family issues and the cost of healthcare.
In Alberta the biggest wait for elective surgery is for joint replacements and our hospitals and nursing homes are full of folks who have fallen and can no longer take care of themselves.
Could any of these falls or worn out joints be prevented if people improved the elasticity of their foot and leg muscles?
Food for thought.
Physical Therapist, Principal Personal Foot Trainers and former chronic sufferer of PF.