Physical Therapy and Fall Prevention

About one third of people over the age of 65 and about half of people over the age of 80 will fall at least once this year. What does this have to do with physical therapy? Well, your physical therapist can actually help you to prevent falls in the future, as well as help you to diagnose the issues that could be causing the falls. Fall prevention in seniors is extremely important, as these falls can severely limit a person’s ability to stay active and independent.

What Are Falls?

Anyone can have a fall, but older people a
e certainly more vulnerable than others. The reasons for these falls can range from simple to complex, and one of the most important factors of fall prevention is diagnosing the problem that created the fall as well as discovering factors that could contribute to falls in the future. Some of the factors that could contribute to falls include, but are not limited to 

  • Leg muscle weakness
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty walking or balancing
  • Conditions that cause confusion, such as Alzheimer’s
  • Medical conditions that limit your ability to get around
  • Taking multiple medications at the same time, especially psychoactive medications
  • The use of a cane or other walking device
  • Being 80 years of age or older
  • Home hazards
  • Low blood pressure

These are all factors that can be determined by your physical therapist as a first step to fall prevention. If a fall occurs, it is important to let your physical therapist or regular physician know immediately.

The Connection between Physical Therapy and Fall Prevention

Physical therapy and fall prevention go hand in hand for many different reasons. Physical therapy treatment can do worlds of good for fall prevention, treatment of injuries related to falls, and improving overall health to keep these falls from ever happening.

  • Physical exercise regimens implemented by your physical therapists can keep you active and improve your range of motion, decreasing one’s chance of having a fall.
  • If a fall occurs, your physical therapists can assess your health and living situation to determine the cause of the fall and begin prevention treatment.

Fall Prevention Treatment

fallSo, what does a fall prevention treatment plan look like? Well, your physical therapist will take all the necessary steps to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Some of the elements of that treatment plan could include:

  • Home safety assessment – Determining which factors of your home environment could be contributing to a patient’s fall risk, and determining how to eliminate those risks.
  • Perform a simple vision exam and refer patient to an optometrist if necessary.
  • Balance training exercises
  • Activities to improve walking a moving ability
  • Fear management – A patient’s fear of falling can actually contribute to their risk of falling
  • Increase activity levels – staying active increases a patient’s range of motion, which can decrease their risk of falling
  • Education – Educating the patient regarding their own individual fall risks and how to reduce those risks
  • Dual task training program – Training the patient to perform multiple tasks at the same time in a safe manner
  • Recommending Fall Prevention community programs – A physical therapist may be involved in setting up one of these programs or they may be able to recommend programs in the area.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for fall prevention treatment. Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center has expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating the real issues that cause medical problems.  Let Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC help you determine what your fall risks are and implement a fall prevention treatment plan to help you feel safe as well as improve your overall health.

Physical Therapy for Seniors

How many of you have a grandparent or even a parent who just doesn’t get around very well? Well, did you know that physical therapy could help them? A lot of people don’t. Physical therapy can be very beneficial for seniors, and not just for treating a specific injury – it can be beneficial for all kinds of reasons. From a hip injury to simply treating decrease in mobility and daily functionality, physical therapy treatment can benefit all seniors and can even be used as a prevention treatment.

What are the Physical Therapy Treatments for Seniors?

There are many different types of physical therapy treatments for seniors that depend on the needs of each individual patient. There is no one universal treatment plan, even for the same injury – one of the great things about physical therapy is that therapists
cater to each patient, developing a treatment plan that is unique to their individual needs. These treatment plans can include –

  • Stretching
  • Walking
  • Heat therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Massage
  • Electrical stimulation of the muscles
  • Developing daily exercise routines catered to the patient’s physical abilities
  • Ultrasound
  • Cold therapy

The purpose of these treatment plans are to increase the mobility of senior patients, treat certain injuries, and/or to make daily tasks and activities easier for them. The goal is to make seniors as independent as possible, leading to healthier and happier lives.

Who Benefits from these Treatments?

As mentioned before, physical therapy treatment can be beneficial to all senior patients, but there are certain conditions that physical therapy can be especially beneficial for, and some of them may surprise you. Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to –

  • Pain in all parts of the body – neck pain, back pain, joint pain, etc.
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Injuries such as a broken hip
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Incontinence
  • Strok
  • Osteoa
  • Vertigo
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Other conditions

When conditions like these develop or occur, seeking proper treatment, and in a timely manner, can make all of the difference. It is important to stay ahead of these conditions in order to have the best prognosis possible. A physical therapist can develop a treatment plan especially catered to your beloved family member, keeping them as active as possible, which is crucial to their overall well-being.

Why is Physical Therapy Treatment for Seniors Important?

It is all too common for people to believe that a lot of the symptoms and physical ailments that seniors experience are simply a result of old age and cannot be treated. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Physical therapy treatment can also be used as a preventative measure for seniors – maintaining their flexibility, range of motion in their joints, and improving their circulation, which helps to prevent the decrease in mobility.

  • By implementing a preventative treatment plan developed by your physical therapist, you can help to prevent injuries down the road.
  • Utilizing physical therapy treatment for some of these conditions can lower the amount of medication taken by seniors.
  • The goal of physical therapy treatment in seniors is to ultimately help them to be as independent as possible – this will lead to a healthier and happier life for your loved ones.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for seniors experiencing limited mobility or seeking treatment for other medical conditions. Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center has expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating the real issues that cause medical problems.  Let Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC help you increase your daily functionality and improve your overall health and well-being.