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Video Highlights

• Risks of Falls
• Pharmaceuticals
• Fall Risk Increasing Drugs (FRID)
• Polypharmacy

Hi, I am Dr. Eric Cobb with Z-Health Performance, and today we’re continuing our discussion of fall risk and specifically about drugs. We’re going to look at some current research. And one of the reasons I wanna cover this is, as I’ve mentioned previously, we have a live and livestream course called Defining Gravity, about fall prevention and fall preparation coming up in June.

So right now I’m in the middle of a series of just trying to give people ideas about things you can implement immediately with your family, your friends, and your clients if you are a movement professional, that can help reduce the risk of falls. Now, a lot of people are like, really? Is it that big a deal? Well, statistically, yes, if you’ve ever had a family member badly injured or die from a fall, you would think, yeah, this is something I should know something about. And as movement professionals, particularly, I think it is incumbent upon us ethically that we master this particular subset of information. The challenge is that dealing with falls is difficult because there are so many systems involved.

You have to understand the visual system, the vestibular system or inner ear, the proprioceptive system, joints, muscles, tendons, how our sensory systems are working. And then on top of that, we have all these metabolic issues that come into play. Now, having said all that, to be an expert in this, we also have to look at environmental factors.

And today what I want to talk about is one of the most profoundly impactful environmental factors currently in existence, which is pharmaceuticals. Now, I am in no way anti-medicine or anti-drug, anti-pharmaceutical. In fact, my son’s just about to start his residency in internal medicine. I’m a huge believer in intelligently applied everything, whether that’s exercise, movement, medication, supplementation. We just have to know what we are doing.

Now, the problem is that when we look statistically, whenever people begin taking pharmaceuticals, there is an entire grouping of pharmaceuticals known as FRIDs, FRID, fall Risk Increasing Drugs, which means that there are a lot of drugs out there that if you look at the side effects, they are well known for increasing the risk of falls.

These include things like opioids, the three antis, antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-epileptics, benzodiazepines, things that are great for sleeping, and then diuretics. These are some of the classes that we kind of know. And people, for instance, that are taking prescription opioids are at about 60% increased risk of falling.

So if you work with people in any way, shape, form, or fashion, you need to take a medication history. You need to go online, and you need to get that list and say, okay, are they taking these three things and do they seem unstable because it may need to be addressed by their physician.

In fact, across most of Europe, the United States and Canada that I know of, probably other countries as well, there is a big push now for what is called deep prescribing de-prescribing, taking medications away from people. Because often what we’ll see is people go to one doctor for one thing and another doctor for another thing. And just because of time, frustrations and time limitations, maybe multiple prescriptions have been given all for the same thing, or we have things that are interacting.

When we look at that even more deeply across almost all large reviews, what we now see is a discussion of something called polypharmacy. Polypharmacy by definition is when someone is taking four or more prescription medications, here’s what that means for falling. If someone is on four or more prescription medications, their fall risk increases between 75 and 100% when compared to people who are not taking that number of medications.

Now, that could be for a variety of reasons, maybe they actually have a disease process. It’s causing weakness, it’s causing inner ear issues, balance dysfunction. But whenever we look deeply into this, there are a lot of unknowns. We don’t know how certain drugs interact, but what we can say on a big scale is that if people are on multiple drugs, particularly multiple of the FRIDs, the FRID drugs, there risk for falling skyrocket. When risks for falling skyrocket, we see injury rates going through the roof. And in fact, if you’ve been tracking this data since early two thousands, we’ve seen falls, or excuse me, deaths death caused by falling in the United States have risen almost 60% since 2002. So we have a big kind of community public health issue going on.

And as I said, if you’re gonna be an expert in fall prevention, which I think all movement professionals need to be, you have to understand the impact of the things that your clients are putting into their bodies. And you have to have a plan in place to deal with it. So hopefully you found this interesting and you’re kind of into all this stuff.

We are a brain-based education company. We’re gonna focus on typically a lot of the things that we do about movement and how the brain and body are interacting. But you can’t talk about the brain without talking about the things that we’re putting into our bodies because it’s gonna impact them too. So if you’re interested in this stuff, you’re a movement professional, make sure to check out our free resources.

We have a six hour online class that is free. We have a free ebook so that you can just dive into this information and figure out, Hey, is this for me? And you can also subscribe to this channel where we have a lot of videos. ’cause I’m standing in front of this camera a lot. So make sure to subscribe, check us out if you have any questions.

You can obviously contact our office. We’re happy to talk about this with you. And the main thing I want you to do, like I said, Google this stuff. Look up fall risk increasing drugs. Make that list. Compare it to the stuff that your family’s taking, your friends are taking, your clients are taking, because this can be a life saving discussion that you can have with them and hopefully that they can have with their physicians.

All right. Good luck to you.

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