Slips and falls can happen.. It is a part of life. And the icy winter roads and sidewalks help to create an increased chance of you experiencing one. I’ve laid out the steps to take when you have fallen or have witnessed a fall to decrease the chances of prolonged injury.
First, I’d like to share some information on your body and fascia. It’s a little science-y but stay with me. This is different information than what you may have thought about your body before.
Your fascia is your bodies shock absorber. When you fall or experience an accident. The vectors of force should move through your body and out the other side. However, in most circumstances our fascia is restricted creating areas of solidification. The force can not move through the body. It becomes trapped there. More restrictions form. The body develops a holding pattern to protect us from the impact of the fall. We also subconsciously shut down the natural fight, flight, freeze response. All this over time, creates muscular strain patterns and myofascial restrictions that results in chronic pain and tightness.
With this new knowledge, the steps you take following a fall or accident are crucial to prevent prolonged injury and trauma.
Steps to take when you fall:
1. Orient yourself. You may be in shock from the fall. Your body feels as though it as been attacked. Look at your surroundings.
2. Notice your breathing, feel into your body, make note of any sensations. This will help you to connect in and assess the injury.
3. Check to see if there is anyone around who can help you. Ask them for what you need. Often times, people will rush in with fear. This may be startling to us and such down our natural responses. You may need them to step back or to help you up at your own pace. If not, turn onto your side, use your arms to push you up to sitting, then standing. Take all the time you need.
4. Shake, Rattle and Roll. After the injury, you may feel different sensations. There may be a shake or a deep quiver. This is your bodies natural way to move the energy from the fall through. This is healthy. Allow your body to shake and move.
5. Get medical attention, if you or others feel it is necessary
6. Schedule a Myofascial Release session as soon as possible. After the fall, your fascia will begin to create new strain patterns and restrictions. A Myofascial Release session with a trained therapist will help to move the trauma through and heal the injured tissue. The sooner you receive treatment, the quicker you will recover.
What to do when you witness a fall:
1. If you witness a person fall, resist the urge to rush in and help them up.
2. Proceed with centered, kindness. Assess the situation, while providing a kind heart and eye contact. This will help the person to feel safe.
3. Call for medical help if needed.
4. If the person can get up. Ask them how you can help? Provide an arm/s for them to reach out. Do not grab them and try to move them or force them to get up.
5. If the person begins to shake, provide a safe space for them to express themselves, stay open, calm and centered. This will help their body self correct from the trauma.
Remember that once you have the right information about how your body works, you can start making the choices that will help you live a pain-free, joyful life.
Best in Health,
P.S. Your health and wellbeing is very important to me. We have set aside 2 appointment slots a week for emergency visits. If you have an injury or fall, please contact us for an appointment.
All this information and more about the body and trauma can be found in In an Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine and Myofascial Release, Healing Ancient Wounds by John F. Barnes