Last week we presented our “Keep on Your Feet” balance presentation to a great group of seniors. But what was most interesting to me was the non-seniors who were there and came to me afterwards saying.. “I learned so much” and “I didn’t know that falls were so complicated.” So I thought, we need to start talking about balance and risk of falls to all active adults. It can happen to you too!
A few facts about falls according to the Center of Disease Control Data…
Behind all these "fall facts" is a change in lifestyle and loss of independence that occurs with a fall. Recently, I had a client (in her 50’s) who tripped and fell at the gas station, fracturing her elbow, requiring surgery and a cast. She is now completely reliant on her husband for basic care, she can not drive herself to work and now must figure out how to continue working remotely. Almost the same story about my dad who years ago tripped at the car dealership when just getting an oil change. Elbow fracture, surgery, dependence on my mom for basic hygiene.
But what happens to you if you do not have family at home who can assist? What if you are the caregiver for your spouse, parents, or young children? We want to avoid falls at all ages! t
What Conditions Make You More Likely to Fall?
Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:
Address Your Risk Factors!
How Can Balance Training Help?
Balance is controlled by 3 systems in our bodies:
Over time, with age, injury, disease, or poor nutrition, any of these systems can become less efficient or even not work at all. Luckily, we have THREE systems, so when one is not working effectively, we can train the others to become more efficient for compensation. Physical Therapist are experts in determining which systems need to be trained and improved.
And the MOST IMPORTANT factor with all three balance systems is that you must have good muscle strength and coordination for your body to respond to all the messages. To keep on your feet, you MUST exercise regularly.
Not sure where to start with balance training or regular exercise? We can help!
A quick consultation with our staff will allow us to determine what you need to address first and how to get started with a group balance class, individual Physical therapy, group fitness, or setting up a program for you to do at home.
We help busy professionals whose activities are limited by pain, get back to enjoying the things they love, even if other treatments have let them down.
Catherine Courtney, PT
Specialist Physical Therapist