Many of us may not think of how often we use the bathroom. For such a small space in the home, the majority of injuries statistically occur here than anywhere else in a person’s house. According to the CDC, nearly a quarter of a million Americans over the age of 15 suffered a non-fatal bathroom-related injury in 2008 (source). Slip and fall accidents, the most common injury, can put people at risk for bone fractures and/or breaks, and agitate existing joint pain.
As January is National Bath Safety Month, it is a good time to focus on safety measures to prevent trips to the E.R.
Keep your space clear: If you live in an older house, chances are the bathrooms are not very large. If several people use the space, personal items may clutter the bathroom over time. It’s important to keep the floors clear to prevent tripping – keep discarded clothing and towels in a hamper, and set down a mat to discourage slips. If joint pain in your hands and wrists is an issue, use grooming products with ergonomic handles to help reduce the strain when you prepare for a new day.
Get a grip: Water in the tub or base of a shower stall can cause one to lose balance and fall. Because showers and tubs are often designed with smooth walls, bracing yourself to prevent a fall may become a problem. Make sure the floors of your bathing spaces have either a slip-proof mat or adhesive treads to keep you grounded. Also consider installing handles to help you in and out of the tub or shower.
Have a seat: Depending on the severity of your joint pain, you may encounter issues using the shower or tub. Shallow tubs can be a challenge if it’s difficult to lower yourself in the water. If a walk-in tub is not yet in the budget, consider a special bath chair, paired with a handheld shower head, to help ease the burden on affected joints.
At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians and therapists provide quality care to people dealing with joint pain due to illness or injury. It’s important to observe safety in the bathroom year round, but if you have difficult maintaining quality of life due to arthritis or other issues, contact us today to learn how we can help.