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Learning About Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment and Research

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Learning About Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment and Research

Physical Therapy As Fall Prevention For Seniors

by Carla Hudson

Many seniors fall each year at home, in the hospital, or in a nursing home. Falls can lead to serious injuries, such as broken bones, and they can significantly reduce the quality of life for the elderly population.

There is good news. Physical therapy can be an effective way to prevent falls in seniors. Here's what you should know about physical therapy as a fall prevention tool.

What Is Physical Therapy?

First, it's important to understand what physical therapy is. Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation that uses exercises and other therapies to improve movement, relieve pain, and prevent or treat physical disabilities.

Physical therapy for seniors often involves fall prevention because falls can be so dangerous. Seniors who fall and break bones may never regain the same strength and mobility after recovery. Physical therapy prevents falls and helps you gain as much mobility as possible after the fact.

Why Is Physical Therapy Effective for Fall Prevention?

Physical therapy is effective because it helps seniors improve their strength, balance, and flexibility. These are all important factors in helping seniors avoid injury. If you do fall, having these skills will also be beneficial in your recovery.

Plus, each session is customized to meet your needs. Your physical therapist will analyze your gait and assess any specific muscle weaknesses. The goal is to create balance in the body so that you can avoid an injury.

Physical therapy also includes an examination of your fall risk. By looking at your balance and your muscle weakness, the therapist can determine what steps you can take at home to help prevent falls at home or anywhere else you frequently go.

What Physical Therapy Exercises Prevent Falls?

There are several physical therapy exercises that can prevent falls. One common exercise is called the single-leg stance. This is when you stand on one leg with your other leg slightly lifted. You may also hold on to a support, such as a chair or a countertop, for balance.

Another common exercise is called the tandem walk. This is when you place one foot directly in front of the other and walk heel to toe. This helps improve your balance and coordination. Again, you may be able to hold onto a support beam or chair to help you walk safely.

Schedule Physical Therapy for Fall Prevention Today

If you're concerned about falling, don't wait to schedule physical therapy. The sooner you start, the better your chances of preventing a fall. Preventing a fall could save you from the threat of immobility. For more information on fall prevention therapy for seniors, contact a professional near you.