prevent-fallsIf you suffer from chronic pain, especially back pain, then you’re probably already a little unsteady on your feet. A fall of any sort can quickly make matters worse, and make the pain you’re already feeling almost unbearable. Anything you can do to minimize your chances of falling, then, is a win. Below, you’ll find some simple tips and tricks you can adopt right now that will help you reduce your risk of falling, and by extension, help make sure you don’t make the pain you already have even worse.

• Your shoes – First and foremost, you should be wearing them. Socks or stockings can be slippery, and slippery is a recipe for disaster. Further, when you wear shoes, rubber soles are best, because they offer more grip.

• A flashlight – Keep several handy, including one by your bedside. An alternate approach would be to install a number of night lights around the house. The goal here is simple. If you can see where you’re going, you’re less likely to fall.

• Improve your balance – This is as easy as taking the time to practice. Close your eyes. Stand on one leg for a slow ten count, maintaining your balance the whole time. Then switch to the other leg. Over time, this will help improve your balance markedly, and minimize your chances of falling.

• Use helpers – Use canes, walkers and the like. There’s certainly no shame in using them, and it’s a whole lot better than the alternative.

• More on shoes – This one should be obvious, but it bears mentioning anyway. More support is better, so stay away from flip flops and high heels.

• In the wintertime, be sure to walk on the grass if sidewalks are slick. If you must walk on the sidewalk, use rock salt or kitty litter on your walkways.

• Certain medications can cause or increase dizziness, which can increase your risk of falling. Be sure to take a moment to steady yourself when standing up before proceeding to walk.

Again, none of these things will reduce your chances of falling to zero, but taken together, they will do a lot to minimize your risks.