According to the CDC, in the United States, more than one third of adults aged 65 and older fall each year with 20-30% of those people suffering moderate to severe injuries. As we age, balance deficits and falls may seem “normal” but this does not have to be the case! Physical therapy is a great way to reduce the risk and prevent falls. Physical therapy can be an integral part of improving your overall health and reducing the effects of falls. One significant fall can trigger a vicious cycle of events with a quick progression into depression and lack of confidence which ultimately leads to increased weakness and more falls.
How can physical therapy help improve your balance and reduce your fall risk?
- Improve strength of your lower body
- Improve core strength and muscle stability
- Restore balance by challenging your balance and allowing your body to “practice” in a safe and controlled environment
- Assess walking patterns to determine safe use of assistive devices such as canes and walkers, if needed
- Assess environmental hazards such as throw rugs, lighting, and decluttering small spaces in your home to reduce tripping or slipping
- Assess and improve pain that is limiting your ability to transfer or walk safely
- Ensuring you have proper footwear
Our bodies and brains are amazing in how they are capable of adapting, recovering, and repairing with the help of physical therapy. Our trained therapists can provide you with a safe, controlled environment to improve your balance and ultimately decrease your fall risk. Research has shown if you can prevent falls, you are able to live a longer and healthier life. If you feel you are a fall risk and have balance issues, please call our Unified Therapy adult clinic to schedule an appointment.
Michelle Sullivan, PT, DPT, is a Rehab Director and Physical Therapist at Unified Therapy Services Adult Clinic. Please call us at 563-583-4003 to schedule a consultation or visit www.unifiedtherapy.com for a complete list of services.