07 Jan Balance Issues & Fall Danger: Reducing Risk Through PT
As you get older, the risk of falling can increase for many different reasons. Falls account for a significant number of injuries – and even deaths – every year across the country. While it may seem like balance problems and the risk of falling can be inevitable, there is definitely help: Physical Therapy. We look at risk factors, what to watch for, and how Physical Therapy can help.
Not everyone who ages will be at a higher risk of falling. People who are not yet older adults can also have a higher fall risk, too. Certain factors can increase your risk, such as:
Signs You May Have Balance Issues:
Needing help balancing
Having weakness in your limbs
How Physical Therapy Can Help:
When you see a Physical Therapist for balance problems or to address fall risk, your Physical Therapist will help determine which factors may be affecting your balance. For instance, if you have vertigo, Physical Therapy is often very effective at treating the most common form, BPPV(benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). Your Physical Therapist will assess your fall risk, and determine the best course of treatment based on your needs. There are numerous Physical Therapy treatment options for treating balance problems; Physical Therapists are experts in the musculoskeletal system and can use a blend of manual (hands on) therapy and active movement exercises to improve strength, mobility, flexibility, posture, and include proprioceptive exercises. (Proprioception mean how you perceive the position and movement of your body.)
Things You Can Do:
Although you may need help in improving your balance and reducing your fall risk, you can take some steps to help keep yourself safe.
Clear your environment of fall hazards: Be sure that it’s safe to walk through your home. Pick up clutter, move furniture and other tripping hazards out of the way. Be sure any stairs are clear.
Keep outside safe: Winter weather can increase your risk by adding slick surfaces. Clear your walkways and driveway of snow or ice. Salt your walkways ahead of bad weather.
Wear appropriate clothing: Wear clothing that fits well and avoid overly baggy or long clothes that might cause you to trip. When you go out, wear shoes with good tread, and avoid elevated shoes such as boots or heels.
Have a current medication list: When you visit your Physical Therapist, be sure you bring a current medication list. This will help your provider determine if your balance issues are possible related to any medication you’re taking.
Follow your provider’s treatment plan: It’s important that you follow your Physical Therapist’s treatment plan in order to have the best chance at success. Set aside time each day to perform any home exercise program you’ve been given, and if you’re struggling let your provider know. You’ll work together to create an effective path to better balance and decreased fall risk.
If you’re ready to address balance – or other – issues, Body One PT is here to work with you on improving your health. We’re locally owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t struggle alone or suffer in silence; we’re here to help you reach your goals and cheer you on. Call or click today to make an appointment with the best PT team in Indy!