Fall Prevention

Who might need a fall prevention assessment?

The American Geriatric Society recommends that all adults aged 65 and older schedule a fall prevention assessment. However, you may benefit from an earlier evaluation if you have a high risk of falling. 

What increases my risk of falling?

Common risk factors include any condition that affects your:

  • Movement
  • Walking
  • Vision
  • Balance
  • Muscle strength
  • Coordination

 Specific medical conditions that increase your risk of falling include: 

  • Dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Foot problems
  • Obesity
  • Frailty
  • Chronic pain
  • Movement disorders
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Taking certain medications can make you more likely to fall if they affect your balance or cause dizziness. Additionally, your own home could put you at risk of falling. For example, a frayed carpet, loose wires, clutter on stairs, no grab bars in the bathroom, and poor lighting are all falling hazards.

What fall prevention treatments might I receive?

Good balance and strong muscles are essential for preventing falls. Maintaining optimal movement and protecting your overall health also lower your risk.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation specializes in the treatments and training you need for fall prevention. Your provider assesses your mobility, strength, and balance, identifying areas that need improvement to prevent falls. They also check your gait and walking speed.

During your assessment, your physical therapist may check your thinking, memory, heart rate, and blood pressure. They may also evaluate your footwear to be sure it doesn’t contribute to falls.

A few therapies used during fall prevention treatment include: 

Strength and flexibility exercises

Physical therapists use many techniques to restore balance and improve your muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility. They may also incorporate therapies to reduce chronic pain you may experience.

Your provider may implement dual-task training. This trains you to maintain a normal walking speed while performing another task. When needed, they also recommend and teach you how to use assistive devices that improve your safety while walking. 

Vestibular therapy

Vestibular therapy involves specially designed exercises that improve your balance and reduce dizziness. Your body has the ability to compensate for balance problems, but it needs an exercise program that trains it how to do it.

If you’re worried about falling, call today to schedule an evaluation at Back To You Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation.