from journal Gait and Posture
Falls are a leading cause of injury and disability as we get older, but now scientists at a University Rehabilitation Center in the UK have developed a test that helps predict if a person is at risk for falls. Called the enhanced paper grip test, it involves pulling a small card from underneath the participants foot while asking them to grip the card with their big toe. It is a simple, inexpensive and reliable way to determine muscle weakness in a part of the foot that helps a person maintain balance. Authors of the article in the journal Gait and Posture note that falling for the first time sets in motion a cycle of increased fear of falling, reduced activity and loss of strength. That leads to a higher risk of further falls.