Ancient Tragedy Leads to Modern Medical Improvements
NATICK, Mass. - July 25, 2017 - PRLog -- Lucy, our ancient hominid ancestor and bridge to the ape world, was 3 feet tall, lived in Africa and walked upright. She ate leaves, grass, nuts and seeds. Three million years ago, Lucy lost her balance, slipped and fell to her death, according to a study by John Kappelman, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA). An analysis of Lucy's bones, published in the Science journal in August 2016, looked at computed tomographic (CAT) scans of her bones. The CAT scan found what looked like bone fractures that happen when modern people fall to the ground and injure themselves. Lucy suffered and probably died from multiple, severe bone fractures to her arms, ribs and pelvis. The newly-discovered bone fracture Lucy had was a shattered upper arm break, called a proximal humerus fracture.
Upper arm fractures occur when older adults fall forward and reach their arm out to break their fall. Age and frailty are the leading risk factor for falls with injury in older Americans. Falls are the leading cause of factures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence and even death. Most falls occur in or near the home. Cheryl S. Abelow, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Owner of FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers of MetroWest says, "People think it's natural to lose their strength and balance as they age, but that's not true. Seniors can have a healthy balance system but they need to continually maintain strength and balance through exercise.
"Seniors can test their own balance at home with a simple test called the One-Legged Standing Test. In a safe place with handholds, possibly with another person to catch you if you lose your balance, hold onto a countertop and raise one foot off the floor. Standing on one leg, let go of the countertop. If you lose your balance and you have to grab the countertop within 30 seconds, you have balance deficits that could lead to a fall.
Americans can find more comprehensive balance testing at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers with the BODYQ™ (www.MyBodyQ.com), a screening tool that identifies areas of concern in balance, strength, flexibility, vision and hearing. All these body functions help older adults maintain their balance. The One-Legged Standing Test is also part of the BODYQ™. The final result of the 30-minute BODYQ™ are test scores in each of these body functions that help physical therapists design individualized, medically-based exercise programs for their clients to diminish risk of falling and prevent injury.
Like many Americans, Lucy could have benefited from an individual analysis of the multiple factors that can cause a fall. Friends and family can help their aging loved one feel comfortable living at home by preventing a fall that results in an injury, hospitalization or death. Discover your local FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Center at 251 West Central Street, Suite 30, in Natick, (508) 650-0060.
Read more about Lucy's life and death at Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/
About FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers
FYZICAL Therapy &Balance Centers provides science-driven practices and therapy treatments. FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers have 232 locations in 36 states and is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida. www.FYZICAL.com