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Balance and Fall Prevention Program

SpineScottsdale Physical Therapy's Guide to the Physical Therapy Management for Balance and Fall Prevention.

Why is preventing falls so important?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), falls are a public health problem that is fully preventable. Every year, millions of people over the age of 65 suffer from falls and those falls can cause moderate to severe injuries. Many injuries include fractures and head trauma, which can lead to death.

Why should people be concerned?

  • 1 out of 3 people, over the age of 65, fall each year.1,2
  • Among older adults falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries.1
  • Most fractures that occur in older adults are a result from a fall.1
  • Many people that fall develop a fear on falling even if they have not had an injury from that fall. The fear they have may limit their activities, which it turn, decrease their mobility, loss of physical fitness and could increase their risk of falling.1

What can be done to prevent falls?

According to the CDC, older adults can:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Ask doctor or pharmacist to review medications to assess their risk of side effects that can cause dizziness and drowsiness
  • Have eyes checked regularly to maximize your vision
  • Make sure your home is safe by reducing tripping hazards. Such hazards could include loose rugs and darkened hallways at night.

How can a SpineScottsdale Physical Therapist help?
Your Physical Therapist can develop a specific program based on your individual needs to help improve your strength and balance to assist in decreasing your risk of falls and chance of obtaining a fall injury. Your Physical Therapist may teach you:

  1. Specific balance and strengthening exercises that help to increase lower extremity strength and enhance your somatosensory system to reduce your risks for falls.
  2. A comprehensive home exercise program that can be performed safely in your home to help you maintain your strength and endurance you gained during your time in therapy.
  3. Some minor household modifications you can make that can assist in decreasing your chance of falling when at home.
  4. Set up a weekly walking program to compliment the strengthening and balance exercises given to you by your Therapist.

What kind of Physical Therapist do I need?
You can find professionals all around the country with special training to perform safe balance and fall prevention programs. These individuals have been trained in programs like the Otago Exercise Program, and they increase communities' awareness of fall prevention. This in turn, decreases falls in the elderly population. Click here to learn more about the Otago Exercise Programme.

The Otago Exercise Programme includes safe strengthening and balance exercises, along with a weekly walking program, which together have been specifically designed to decrease your risk for falls.3

How is the Otago Exercise Program different from others?

  1. Safe and Evidence Based.
  2. Exercises are "site specific" and individualized to your needs.
  3. Able to be performed in the comfort of your home.
  4. Starts at low level and progresses as you move through the program.

To learn more about how SpineScottsdale Physical Therapy can help you decrease your risk for falls...
We are offering a complimentary fall risk assessment. This is a direct and "free" opportunity to receive a fall risk assessment and learn how the Otago Exercise Programme, along with the SpineScottsdale staff, can help to increase your strength and improve your balance minimizing your risk for falls and further conditions that may result from falls such as fractures, laceration and head traumas.1

The complimentary fall risk assessment is approximately a 15-30 minute examination that is performed by a well-trained, professional staff at our SpineScottsdale Physical Therapy Clinic. The screen includes 3 CDC approved balance tests that assess your risk for falls and a full body manual muscle test to assess your overall strength.

To schedule a Free Fall Assessment Screen, simply call SpineScottsdale Physical Therapy at (480) 584-3334!

References:

  1. "Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview." CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., 22 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
  2. Baldwin, Grant, PhD, MPH. "About CDC's STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, & Injuries) Tool Kit." CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p.< 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
  3. Campbell, John A., MD, and Clare M. Robertson, PhD. Otago Exercise Programme to Prevent Falls in Older Adults. N.p.: n.p., 2003. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. Click here for the downloadable PDF file.

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