Stumbling and falling can cause the fracture of the femur, leaving a disability in the lower body or shortening healthy life expectancy by bedridden life.
Based on previously established common sense, declining of the lower body was the cause of stumbling and falling.
But the weakness of the muscles in the lower body was not the only cause of stumbling and falling.
How to check whether to have another cause of stumbling and falling
Check your stride when you usually walk (Fig. 1).
If your stride is shorter than your height multiplied by 0.45, you may have another cause of stumbling and falling.
A person whose stride is short has the deformed spine.
A healthy person’s spine should be S-shaped, but the person whose stride is short has straight spine.
Because the spine is S-shaped, when we jump, walk or run, the spine absorbs the shock from the movements like a spring and prevents putting a strain to the body.
But as we age, the front side of bones and disks around the low back are worn down, making the spine straight (Fig. 2).
The straight spine makes a slouching posture, contracts the abdominal muscles and extends the back muscles (Fig. 3). If the condition continues for a long time, the muscles become tight and don’t return to the original state, and the deformation of the spine gets worse.
Why does the straight spine shorten the stride?
When you slouch, your pelvis gets tilted backward and you need to bend your knees to balance your body. That makes lifting up your legs and waling forward difficult so that you need to shuffle with short strides.
How to improve a straight spine
(1) Fold a towel 3 times and roll it.
(2) Secure both ends with rubber bands.
(3) Put the rolled towel at the buttocks’ side on a chair (Fig. 4).
(4) Sit on the rolled towel with the posterior half of the buttocks (Fig. 5).
This makes your pelvis tilted forward and makes it easy to straight your back (Fig. 6).
If you continues this sitting method, your abdominal muscles will extend, your back muscles will contract and the S-shape of your spine can be recovered.
A 56 year-old male who slouched and whose stride was less than the referenced value tried to sit on a rolled towel for a week. His posture became straighter when he walked and his stride was improved by 4 inches.
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