Six Warnings Signs You're Likely to Fall Down

Muscle Imbalances Increase Your Risk for Falls

A muscle imbalance is a noticeable size or strength discrepancy between muscle groups. The following conditions can promote muscle imbalances that lead to long-term injury, pain, and falls:

  • Postural kyphosis (rounding of the spine; forward head posture from excessive slouching, texting, computer work, driving)
  • Prolonged sitting
  • An illness or injury
  • Excess abdominal fat
  • Inappropriate or unsafe exercises (like sit-ups)
  • Repetitive sports training – An example of a muscle imbalance would be a repetitive walker or runner with excessive muscle strength in the front of the leg (the quadriceps) vs the muscles in the back of the leg (the hamstrings). If this imbalance isn’t corrected, it can lead to excessive force or load on the front of the knee.

When muscles on one side of a joint or the body are stronger than those on the other side, movement patterns are disrupted, which can put additional stress on different parts of the body during physical activity and cause potential injury.

Prolonged sitting, excess abdominal fat, and poor posture are warning signs of falls

 

The Warning Signs of a Muscle Imbalance

If you have a history of a stroke, knee or hip surgery, or back problem, and the muscle imbalance is not yet resolved, you are at risk of a fall. Be on alert for the following warning signs:

  1. Poor posture
  2. Training in only one sport or one modality 
  3. Noticeable difference in strength, flexibility or balance on one side of the body vs the other side
  4. Pain is not connected to a specific injury
  5. Targeting only one muscle group
  6. Training muscle groups and neglecting their antagonists (opposing muscle groups) – e.g., you focus on strengthening your abs while ignoring your lower back OR building up your rear end (back of the hip) and not the front of the hip

 

Karen Owoc "K" logoKaren’s Fit Tip: To prevent falls and improve your performance in life and sport, consult with a clinical professional certified to assess your functionality and prescribe exercises for balance, fall prevention, and your particular medical condition(s).

Learn more about our customized Balance Training program.

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Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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