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BALANCE & FALLS PREVENTION

Sports Medicine & Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Since 2004, our Orange County Physical Therapists have been helping aging adults improve strength, flexibility, balance and gait through multi-component exercise programs. According to the Centers for Disease Control: 30% of people aged 65 and older and more than 50% of those above 80 will fall and suffer moderate to severe injuries this year. For those 65 and older falls are the leading cause of ER visits and the number one cause of hospital admissions due to trauma.

Benefits of our Fall Prevention & Exercise Programs

  • Improved Coordination
  • Stronger and Larger Muscles
  • Strengthen Bones (stronger bones are more resistant to fractures and breaks)
  • Better Brain Function: Regular exercise maintains cognitive abilities which help avoid situations leading to a risk of falling
  • Faster reaction time

Going to physical therapy has fixed my problem. I can now comb my hair, carry grocery bags, open doors, and pick up my grandson when he runs into my arms. I feel great and strong! I can use my arm again without any pain! - A.A.

How effective are balance & fall programs

The research indicates that effective interventions reduce the risk of fall by 35-40%. The term “fall prevention” doesn’t mean totally eliminating falls but rather minimizing the risk. In other words, preventing the falls we can.
For community-dwelling older adults, a minimum of 50 hours of exercise is needed to effectively reduce the risk and rate of falls. These hours can be accumulated over a period of 3 months or more. Programs that achieved this minimum amount of exercise over a six month period or less are more effective than those that take greater than six months, but both are effective.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a fall prevention program?

A fall prevention program includes exercises that improve balance and education on how to reduce the risk of falling. Falling can be life-threatening for seniors, and a comprehensive fall prevention program can offer improved safety and quality of life, in addition to independence.

How does physical therapy restore and improve balance?

Physical therapy not only assists in strengthening muscles and improving coordination, but it also helps to teach those muscles how to act together. Through retraining exercises, you relearn to balance and compensate for imbalance.

What is the difference between static and dynamic balance?

Static balance consists of learning how to balance while holding position. Dynamic balance is maintaining balance while changing positions.

Is there anything I can do at home to prevent falls from happening in the future?

Besides improving balance and strength at home simple exercises, one can take precautions such as wearing the correct glasses, good nutrition regime, reducing the dosage of elimination of unnecessary prescriptions and wearing the correct type of footwear such as non-slip shoes.

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