Improve Balance and Stay Active with Physical Therapy Techniques
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one out of every three adults ages 65 and older fall each year in the United States². While there can be a strong motivation to remain healthy and active by improving your fitness level, some may choose to avoid certain activities for fear of falling.
This fear may limit your physical activity and increase your likelihood of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle over several years is also associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality¹. Luckily, research has identified several risk factors that can lead to falls, so we can mitigate the risk. These risk factors include (but are not limited to) lower body weakness, difficulties with walking, poor balance, dizziness, foot pain, and poor footwear. Hazards in the home such as throw rugs or poor lighting can also contribute to falls as well. Side effects from medication and poor vision are also high on the risk hazard list. Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors, meaning the more factors you have, the more likely you are to experience a fall event.
You may have been told many times by various practitioners that you are supposed to be active and walk 30 minutes per day, but if you have these risk factors, where do you start? You and your primary care provider can discuss what factors may be limiting your ability to stay active³. Your physician can review your medications as well as refer you to the proper specialist who can help to reduce these risk factors.
The physical therapists at Excel will create a specialized plan to address your needs. They are trained to improve strength and proprioception (knowing where your body is in space) in a manner that is safe and that will help to improve your balance. This will help to keep you moving to avoid injury while also decreasing your risk for developing chronic diseases. They can also safely monitor blood pressure and heart rate if you are already predisposed to these illnesses.
Excel physical therapists are educated to identify and address gait deficits as well as make suggestions for assistive devices that may aid your balance to reduce your fall risk. Recommendations will be offered to improve home safety and minimize secondary risk factors that could lead to falls. Excel also offers specialties such as Vestibular and Concussion Therapy and LSVT-BIG which focuses on balance for specific populations. Understanding the importance of regular physical activity is paramount in preventing chronic diseases.
Contact Excel Physical Therapy today to get started with your safe and effective balance training, so that you can enjoy the active lifestyle your body deserves!
By Christine Cooper, PT, DPT
Click to view our full January 2020 patient newsletter! https://online.flippingbook.com/view/501326/