Bunioned individuals should be aware of risk of falls during Oktoberfest

We've all been there: Celebrating the harvest with a few too many hefeweizens or lagers and the next thing you know, you're tumbling down the stairs of the biergarten.

Alcohol consumption is known not only to affect the brain's ability to avoid falls, but can also hinder a person's gait, making them more susceptible to falls. A recent study conducted by a team of scientists at Neurobehavioral Research found that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over a long period of time may lead to impaired gait and brain function. However, the research found that alcohol cessation could potentially reverse these negative effects.

This may mean that drinking festivities equal double trouble for people with bunions, as they, too, struggle with maintaining an aligned stride. 

Here are some tips for boozy, bunioned individuals to get through Oktoberfest celebrations and other harvest parties sans bruises and crutches, provided to you by the one-and-only Bunionella and based on personal experience.  

– Drink with a friend, preferably one without bunions. Warn them about your balance issues and that they may need to escort you around the beer hall "Weekend at Bernie's" style.

– Carry a first aid kit to patch up any scraped knees or elbows. Walking around with bloody limbs is sure to be a buzzkill for others and probably won't score you any dates.

– Wear knee pads. Sport the protective gear under tall socks that typically accompany leiderhosen. No one will be the wiser.

– Use a cane. People may just think you're getting into the old-timey spirit of Oktoberfest. Also, they might be too drunk to even notice.

– Be sensible about your footwear. It's tempting to sport a pair of sexy heels when going out drinking, but rarely is this a good idea.

– In the weeks leading up to everyone's favorite German-inspired drinking fests, be sure to wear a bunion splint or orthotics to help correct the pesky deformity at its root.

A blog post on This International Life reports on some of the other injuries that Oktoberfest celebrants are prone to. For one, those heavy beersteins can smack you right in the forehead as you gulp down the last few drops of pilsner. One festival-goer even got blisters on her hand from carrying the heavy mugs.

Finally, it's probably a good idea to practice moderation at these events and always use a designated driver.