Balance training at On the Mend Physical Therapy is how we help our family of patient prevent injuries that result from falls. As part of this training, On the Mend also provides Fall Risk Assessments to help identify problem areas that contribute to falls.
Falls are one of the most common, expensive, and potentially fatal medical events among people over the age of 65. These episodes often result from dizziness and disequilibrium as well as—or in conjunction with—chronic physical conditions affecting gait and balance.
Furthermore, as people get older, they tend to exercise less, which leads to decreased muscle strength, increased joint stiffness, and reduced bone density—all of which increase a person’s falls risk. That being said, age isn’t the only falls risk factor; patients of all ages can benefit from a falls prevention program. In fact, prevention is the best approach to falls risk management.
With that in mind, patients seeking falls prevention therapy will undergo a comprehensive falls risk assessment during which a physical therapist will identify problem areas using a combination of evidence-based, nationally recognized tests and other evaluative methods. The therapist will then develop a balance training program as well as a care plan for any underlying conditions that may increase the patient’s falls risk or compromise his or her general musculoskeletal function. This therapy plan may include vestibular adaptation exercises, gait training, safety instruction, and muscle strengthening exercises.
In addition to the work the patient does in our clinic, he or she will receive a home exercise program to complete in between appointments. You may also receive recommendations for home environment modifications as well as assistive devices (e.g., walkers and canes) that may further help prevent falls. Upon discharge, the therapist may refer you to a supervised exercise or fitness program to support strength and balance maintenance over the long term.