Among older adults, falls are the number one cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence, and injury/deaths. People think they are supposed to lose their balance as they age but that not true. In order to maintain or strength, balance and endurance we have to use it!
Assess Your Risk
According to the National Institutes of Health, a person with balance problems may experience tripping, swaying, stumbling, dizziness, vertigo and falling. Although a person’s “static” balance may be fine when standing still or only perform a single task at a time, “dynamic” balance problems may become apparent with movement and multitasking. For example, you may feel unsteady when walking and turning your head to talk to someone. It’s important to seek help as soon as balance issues begin. The longer you wait, the worse it can get. People become fearful of falling so they limit their activities which only adds to the problem. Muscles become weaker without exercise, making maintaining balance even more difficult.
Here are some questions to better assess your state of balance:
- Have you changed or limited your physical activity because of balance issues?
- How often do you experience balance problems?
- Do you feel dizzy?
- Have you had difficulty walking?
- Have you fallen in the past year?
Please share your responses with your doctor!
While losing your balance can be frightening, you can regain it! Physical therapists can help restore balance but not every PT is a balance expert. 1st Choice FYZICAL therapists taske a whole-body approach. They consider whether issues with the spine, hip knee or feet contribute to imbalances, and they provide intensive personal care to help you achieve th egreatest independence posssible. Treatment might include:
- Gait Training
- Balance retraining
- Vestibular rehabilitation
- Fall prevention
Reduce your fall risk by staying active! Include exercises that build muscle, increase flexibility and help with balance and coordination. Call 1st Choice FYZICAL for a FREE fall risk assessment today!