Yes, Physiotherapy can help to improve balance and prevent falls.
It’s the time of the year in Victoria that brings challenges to those who have balance and mobility issues: there could be ice or snow or puddles on any particular day. And with the shorter, colder days, many people’s overall fitness declines because they are not able or not motivated to get outside and move around. All of these elements combine to increase the likelihood of sustaining an injury from a fall. Of course a physiotherapist can help to treat any of these injuries, but a physiotherapist can also help to prevent falls from happening in the first place!
According to a recent study by Muir et al, over twenty risk factors for falling have been identified, but there are five major factors, with an increased number of these risk factors exponentially increasing the risk of falling:
- A history of recent falls
- Functional lower extremity strength: the ability to stand up from a seated position in a chair without using the chair arms
- An unsteady gait
- Impaired balance
- Taking four or more prescription medications
The physiotherapists at Diversified Health are trained to assess joint mobility, muscular strength, balance and gait patterns. Part of their assessment is to identify deficits and come up with a program to improve such key issues as quadriceps and gluteus (thigh and buttock) strength. They will advise you on which specific strength, mobility and balance exercises would be most beneficial for you, and will make suggestions on functional ways to work on these exercises at home or at the gym, with safety being the top priority.
At Diversified Health, some specific exercises you might be shown include wall squats, bridging, or outer hip strengthening. You might use tools such as balance boards, BOSU balls, the Vibe machine, and various other cardio or weight equipment.
If you are considering using a mobility aid such as a walker or a cane, we can help you decide which one is right for you and how to properly adjust it. If you would like to stop by the clinic, the practitioners would be happy to give you a free assessment of the fit of your cane or walker.
Our physiotherapists also educate regarding footwear, posture and general activity / exercise, and help you come up with a plan to incorporate all three kinds of physical activity: strength and balance exercises; endurance exercises; and flexibility exercises.
Physiotherapy can help to improve balance and prevent falls | physiotherapy victoria bc, so please call Sandra Hardy at 250-382-0018 and book your free assessment.
Researched and written by Sandra Hardy M.P.T.