When you’re in your golden years, you know that taking fall safety seriously is essential. You may see a lot of information about fall prevention, but do you know what to do after a fall occurs? Learn the symptoms to look for after a fall, so you can seek medical attention if you need it.
Symptoms to Look for After a Fall
Savvy seniors know it’s important to take falls seriously, even minor ones that don’t seem like a big deal. Did you know symptoms resulting from a fall-related injury can still show up days or even weeks after the fall? That’s why knowing the symptoms to look for after a fall is essential. If you can spot the symptoms, you can get the help you need.
When Should I See My Doctor After a Fall?
While knowing the specific symptoms you should look for after a fall is helpful, it’s important to note that it’s always a good idea to see your doctor after any fall or accident. Even if you don’t think you were injured, there are reasons you still may benefit from medical attention:
- As mentioned above, fall injury symptoms sometimes don’t appear until well after the incident. A doctor can help you spot health issues you may have missed.
- Sometimes falls can indicate health issues that may have been previously overlooked. For example, sometimes seniors faint because of heart health issues that need to be treated. Getting these issues diagnosed is vital for your health!
- Even if you have not injured yourself and the fall does not indicate another issue, your doctor can still advise you on fall prevention and recovery.
What Symptoms Indicate Fall Injuries?
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, fall injuries can occur. Knowing the symptoms to look for after a fall can give you valuable information to share with your doctor:
- Swollen, stiff, or immobile joints can indicate sprains and fractures. When joints appear red or hot to the touch, that can also indicate sprains or other joint injuries. Joints that seniors are particularly likely to injure in falls include elbows, knees, and shoulders.
- Severe pain in the hip, an inability to stand or walk, or bruising and swelling in the hip area can indicate a hip fracture. It can also indicate potential injury to the spinal cord.
- Difficulty walking, pain and stiffness in the neck, numbness in your fingers and toes, or difficulty moving your limbs can indicate spinal cord or nerve damage.
- Dizziness, difficulty speaking, excessive drowsiness, nausea, and light sensitivity can all be caused by concussions or other cranial injuries.
- Cuts, bruises, and sore spots that don’t heal in a reasonable amount of time can also indicate more profound or severe injuries requiring medical attention.
As you can see, these symptoms have a lot of overlap. They’re also things that you may overlook, and most of them require medical attention to be appropriately diagnosed. If you have any of these issues, seek medical attention immediately.
Now that you know the symptoms to look for after a fall, it’s time to get serious about fall prevention. Talk to your doctor or another medical professional about managing your fall risk today.