Dr. Jeffrey Guild challenges the common belief that falls are an inevitable part of aging and emphasizes the importance of using the balance system to prevent falls.
He suggests that a lack of use, rather than biological factors, is the main reason for the decline of the balance system as we age.
To prevent falls and improve balance, he recommends becoming more physically active and seeking help from a doctor or physical therapist.
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Dr. Jeffrey Guild (00:00:00) – A common misconception is that falls just come with age. And then I’ve even heard crazy things like, well, when people reach a certain age, then they should automatically start using a walker or cane. I can tell you this could not be any farther from the truth. And the reason for this is just look at the older individuals that you know, and you probably know someone that is playing doubles tennis or they are active and they’re going traveling and they’re not using a can or a walker. You don’t see any fiscal decline in them at all. So what makes them different from everybody else, from your peers that you see that are struggling, they’re declining, that are ending up in the hospital, they’re following, that are getting joint replacements, not because they’re planning on it, because they fall and they have to get one. So what’s the difference?
Dr. Jeffrey Guild (00:00:42) – The number one thing? Of course, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. One thing that tends to happen as we get older is our general balance system tends to decline. Now, why is this the case? Yes, there are some biological things that happen that degenerate. However, the vast majority of the reason why people tend to lose their balance is because they don’t use it as much. Think about when we’re children. We stimulate ourselves by spinning and going on amusement park rides and having our parents spin us around and rolling down hills and laughing with our friends doing all this stuff. This is to train us for adulthood to be able to balance ourselves. And even when we get into adulthood, let’s say in our thirties and forties, our balance system has already declined. And if you need the proof of that, just think about the 40 year old who is not going on the amusement park ride with their children because it’ll make them sick and dizzy and their children go on the music park ride all the time and we’ll just keep doing it.
Dr. Jeffrey Guild (00:01:34) – Now as we get older, of course, more time goes by and the use of that balance system becomes less and less and less. We’re not going out and life tends to slow down. We’re not mo, we don’t tend to move as much. And of course, more time goes by in general since we were children, so that our balance system tends to decline in general simply because of a lack of use. So what to do about this? Of course, the best thing to do is get to a doctor, get to a physical therapist, and get into a balanced program even better. A vestibular specialist who is an expert in business and balanced disorders that can address the system very specifically so that you can get ahead of this problem and not have to wait for the problem to come up because this is a life or death situation.
Dr. Jeffrey Guild (00:02:17) – A balanced problem that ends in a fall can be a life and death situation and actually usually is. So you want to act proactively on this. And if you’re already in your sixties and seventies, you want to start thinking about this. You want to become more physically active, you want to be sure that you’re getting out walking on a regular basis. You want to be exercising. And if you’re beginning to see problems with your balance, then you can see a physical therapist and have this problem to be addressed. So act proactively, get ahead of it. Be physically active, use your balance system more rather than less, and spend less time sitting and spend more time being physically active. And that will help you get ahead. If you don’t use it, you lose it when it comes to your balance system. So falls and balance problems don’t just come
Dr. Jeffrey Guild (00:02:58) – With age, they come because of a lack of use and then that lack of use over time. Now, if we stimulate the balance system very specifically, it’s amazing the things that we’re able to accomplish with our clients even into their nineties. And they’re able to achieve things that people in their sixties and seventies cannot do because we’re addressing and stimulating and training their balance system very specifically. And we do this every single day with our clients. So if you wanna improve your balance system, if you want to stop the risk of falls, then use your balance system more, not less.