Are you over the age of 65? Have you fallen recently or know someone who has ever had a fall? If so, you will want to pay close attention. The following information about balance and fall prevention can save you a trip to the hospital, as well as increase the quality of your daily life dramatically.
Did you know that falls are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and trauma hospital admissions? It is also true that 1/3 of adults 65 and over will suffer a serious fall this year. Furthermore, people 75 years old and over are 4-5 times more likely than those 65-74 years old to be admitted to a long-term care facility. Unfortunately, death rates from falls among seniors have dramatically increased over the past 10 years, with men being more likely to die from a fall than women are.
Common risk factors for falls:
- 65 y/o and older
- Muscle weakness in your legs
- Decreased balance
- Problems with your walking
- Drop in blood pressure
- Slower reflexes
- Sensory problems, like numbness and tingling in your feet
- Vision impairments
- Taking multiple medications
- Dizziness or vertigo
Did you know that physical therapy can help reduce if not eliminate your risk for falls? You don’t have to become one of these statistics! With specific manual techniques and targeted muscle training, a physical therapist can diminish or totally eliminate your pain, restore strength to your joints and muscles, improve your balance, and reduce your vertigo.
If you are able to identify with even one of these risk factors above, you are at risk for falling and should contact your local physical therapist. Once you have fallen, most become fearful to fall again, which can limit your overall activity level, reducing your mobility, balance, and level of physical fitness. This puts you at an increased risk for falling. It is a vicious cycle- leading to a terrible downward spiral of health!
Physical therapy directly addresses pain and injury, it can also speedily improve your balance and gait, and decrease your risk for falling. Contact your local physical therapist today!