Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Preventing Falls

Estimates show that 1 in 10 falls causes a serious injury such as a hip fracture among older people. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and an active social calendar can help you avoid serious injury from a fall.

Overview

Falls are one of the most common reasons for injury among older people. Estimates show that 1 in 10 falls causes a serious injury such as a hip fracture.

But there are things you can do to prevent falls. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and an active social calendar can help you avoid serious injury from a fall. Staying active with exercises such as yoga or weight training not only helps with your balance but also keeps your body strong.

Making simple changes to your everyday activities and home environment can help decrease hazards that can lead to a fall. These changes include keeping walkways and stairs free of clutter and having nonskid surfaces in the bathtub or shower. Wearing sensible rubber-soled shoes can also reduce your chances of a fall.

Another way to reduce your risk of serious injury is by keeping your bones healthy and preventing osteoporosis (thinning bones). Many diets do not provide enough calcium or vitamin D. Adults over the age of 50 need 1,200 mg of calcium and 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D (preferably vitamin D3) every day in order to keep bones strong. If you are not getting enough, supplements can help. Your doctor can help you choose which supplements are best for you.

Risk Factors

You may be at an increased risk of taking a fall or having a serious injury as a result of a fall for several reasons. These factors include:

  • Having osteoporosis
  • Having arthritis
  • Taking medications that make you drowsy or sleepy
  • Suffering from depression
  • Having limited vision or hearing
  • Experiencing fluctuations in blood pressure
  • Any condition that causes muscle weakness

Prevention

Falls are often caused by hazards that are easy to prevent. This checklist helps you find and fix potential hazards in each room of your home.

In living areas

  • Move furniture so that your path through a room is clear.
  • Remove throw rugs or use a nonslip backing for them.
  • Keep newspapers, magazines, and small objects off the floor.
  • Remove items such as pet toys, pet food, and water bowls from the floor to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Coil or tape wires together near a wall.

In the kitchen

  • Move items in your cabinets so that the things you use a lot are at waist level.
  • Use safety step stools with handles, guardrails, and nonskid treads made for the purpose. Never use a chair as a step stool.

In the bathroom

  • Use a nonslip rubber mat in the tub or shower.
  • Install grab bars inside the tub and next to the toilet.
  • Install raised toilet seats, if possible.
  • Use night lights.

In the bedroom

  • Place a lamp within easy reach of the bed.
  • Use night lights.

On stairs

  • Keep the area clear of small objects.
  • Fix loose, broken, or uneven steps.
  • Use night lights and overhead lights as needed.
  • Use light switches that glow.
  • Ask for assistance in changing light bulbs, if needed.
  • Make sure any carpeting is firmly attached.
  • Install handrails on both sides of the stairs for the entire distance of the stairway.

In all the rooms of your home, garage, or work space, keep clutter to a minimum. Try to clean out things you no longer need or use on a regular basis.

Additional References:

Lifestyle Management

You can modify your daily activities to help prevent falls and to minimize the risk of serious injury in case a fall does happen. These steps include:

  • Wearing good walking shoes that provide support and don’t slip.
  • Remembering to stand tall.
  • Wearing a medical alert necklace or bracelet.
  • Addressing any foot problems.
  • Carrying a cell phone.
  • Keeping a list of emergency numbers near your home phone or programmed into your cell or home phone.

Maintaining or improving your balance through exercises like Tai Chi, Qi gong, or yoga can also improve your ability to prevent falls or serious injury from them. Two examples of balance exercises are:

  • Chair rise exercise. Scoot to the front of the chair. From a seated position, stand up slowly. Keep your back straight and lift your breastbone as you move from sitting to standing. Slowly return to sitting, bending at the hips and knees, still keeping your back straight. You can do this several times during the day to strengthen your back and leg muscles. Begin with 5 and work up to 15 to 20 repetitions.
  • Balance exercise. Practice balancing on one leg. For support, you can stand between 2 chairs, near the kitchen or bathroom counter, or in a doorway.

Staying engaged with friends and family and getting regular daily exercise are important ways to keep both your body and your mind energized. These activities also reduce the risk of developing depression and help minimize fall-related injuries.

Another way to reduce your risk of serious injury is by keeping your bones healthy and preventing osteoporosis (thinning bones). Many diets do not provide enough calcium or vitamin D. Adults over the age of 50 need 1,200 mg of calcium and 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D (preferably vitamin D3) every day in order to keep bones strong. If you are not getting enough, supplements can help. Your doctor can help you choose which supplements are best for you. 

In addition, you will want to have your hearing, vision, and blood pressure checked regularly. Check your vision and get new glasses if you do not see well. Poor vision or hearing can contribute to the risk of falls, while unexpected changes in blood pressure can lead to dizziness. Keeping your blood pressure under good control will help reduce the risk of sudden confusion or blackouts.

You can connect with me in a variety of ways, depending on the situation and what is most convenient for you at the time. I am available online, by telephone, or in person.

  • For non-urgent questions or concerns, you can e-mail me using this site. You can also book an appointment online to see me in person.
  • If your concerns are immediate, or you simply prefer to use the telephone, please call our Appointment and Advice line which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our advice nurses can give you immediate advice, and our telephone staff can send me a message or book an appointment for you.  
If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

How We Coordinate Your Care

Having all of our Kaiser Permanente departments located together or nearby, including pharmacy, laboratory, radiology and health education, makes getting your care easier for you. 

Another major benefit is our comprehensive electronic medical record system which allows all of the doctors and clinicians involved in your care to stay current on your health status and to collaborate with each other as appropriate.

When every member of the health care team is aware of all aspects of your condition, care is safer and more effective.

If you come to an office visit 
You will receive:
  • Information about when you are due for your next test, screening, or immunization. We can discuss and schedule any preventive tests that you need. 
  • An “after-visit summary” that will summarize the issues we discussed during your visit. You can refer to it if you forget what we discussed, or if you just want to recheck your vital signs and weight. You can also view it online under Past Visits.
To help you prepare for your visit, please see additional details under Office Visit.
If I prescribe medications

We will work together to monitor and assess how your medications are working and make adjustments as needed.  Prescriptions can be filled at any Kaiser Permanente pharmacy. Just let me know which pharmacy works best for you and I will send the prescription electronically in advance of your arrival at the pharmacy.

If refills are needed in the future, you can:

  • Order them online or by phone. Order future refills from my home page or by phone using the pharmacy refill number on your prescription label.
  • Have them delivered to you by mail at no extra cost, or pick them up at the pharmacy. If no refills remain when you place your order, the pharmacy will contact me regarding your prescription.
If lab testing or imaging is needed

For lab tests, I will use our electronic medical record system to send the requisition to the Kaiser Permanente laboratory of your choice. For imaging procedures, we will schedule an appointment with the radiology department. When the results are ready, I will contact you with your results by letter, secure email message, or phone. In addition, you can view most of your laboratory results online, along with any comments that explain them.

If I refer you to a specialist

My specialty colleagues are readily available to assist me if I need additional advice about your condition. In some cases, I may contact them during your visit, so we can discuss your care together. If we decide you need a specialty appointment after that discussion, we can often schedule it the same day or soon thereafter.

If you are due for preventive screenings or tests

As part of our commitment to prevention, additional members of our health care team may contact you to come in for a visit or test.  We will contact you if you are overdue for cancer screenings or conditions which may require monitoring.

Convenient Resources for You

As your personal physician my goal is to provide high quality care and to offer you choices that make your health care convenient. I recommend that you become familiar with the many resources we offer so that you can choose the services that work best for you.

My Doctor Online is available 24/7 so that you can access and manage your care where and when it is most convenient. From my home page you can:

Manage your care securely
  • Secure e-mail messages.
  • Manage your prescriptions and schedule appointments.
  • View your past visits and test results.
  • View Health Reminders to see when you are due for a routine screening or immunization
Learn more about your condition
  • Read about causes, symptoms, treatments and procedures.
  • Find health tools, videos, and podcasts to help you manage your condition.
  • View programs to help you decide on or prepare for a surgery or procedure.
Stay healthy
  • Locate health education classes and support groups offered at our medical center.
  • Explore programs, videos, and podcasts that focus on helping you stay healthy.
  • View Health Reminders to see when you are due for a routine screening or immunization.

Related Health Tools:

Interactive Programs
Videos

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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