Have you fallen lately? If so odds are that you are an Olympic athlete, a construction worker, or a person over the age of 65. Falls can be painful and even fatal. (More)

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Other than watching the Olympics, a personal experience got me to researching falls. I fell at the bottom of the stairs about a month ago and hit my left side pretty hard. I called the nurse line and decided I didn’t need to see a doctor. I’m pretty sure once they established me as a female over 65 they had a script of questions to go through. Scary questions by the way that made me feel better every time I answered “No, I don’t have that symptom.” I am back to normal now and the sharp stabbing pains lasted less than a week.

I fell during an ice skating lesson when I was 50. I landed mostly on my hand from about 5 feet in the air. I was pretty sure I had broken a bone so I went to the doctor. Because I was insured they not only gave me an Xray but a bone density test and several other tests. I kept trying to tell people that ice is really hard and that 5 feet is quite a distance to fall and that the tests were unnecessary. “We have to do this to make sure.” was the reply. By the time I got to my doctor I had him laughing and shaking his head. Yes I had a broken bone and yes the other tests were unnecessary. I kept skating but decided to quit trying to intentionally leave contact with the ice and be airborne.

From the CDC:

One out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.
In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30 billion.

To lower their hip fracture risk, older adults can:

Get adequate calcium and vitamin Dβ€”from food and/or from supplements.
Do weight bearing exercise.
Get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.

Falling is much more common and dangerous than I realized before I started googling it. If you are coping with icy sidewalks or parking lots or if you are a bit off-balance stay safe out there. I could have saved myself one fall if I had just been using the hand rail. Duh!