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Balance and Fall Risk

Now that March is here, we are nearing the end of our slippery season in Wisconsin and we are all starting to get the itch to get outside a little more. For some people, the thought of going outside for a walk is more concerning than for others. It can be especially worrisome after a winter of decreased activity which causes deconditioning and further affects our balance. Now is a great time to build mobility and strength to prepare for getting back outdoors!

Let’s talk about the quick facts on why balance and falls matter. First of all, falls can happen to anyone and you are not alone if you are afraid of falling. More than 1 in 4 older adults (age 65+) fall each year while less than half of these falls are reported to the doctor. Falling once does double your chances of falling again. Each year, 1 in 10 older adults will experience a fall that results in an injury with 3 million older adults requiring treatment in the ER for fall injuries and 1 million older adults needing a hospital stay because of a fall injury.

Here’s the good news: falls are not a natural part of aging and many can be prevented! Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling, called risk factors, and many of these can be changed or modified to prevent falls. Physical therapists are experts at helping people decrease their falls risk by addressing many of these risk factors. Doing so can be quite empowering to help restore your confidence in your mobility, further helping you to maintain your mobility longer, keep you at home as you age, and make your life more enjoyable.

What can your physical therapist do? We can help treat your balance problems by identifying their causes and designing a treatment program specific for you and your risk factors. This may include improving your strength, improving your movement, improving your flexibility and posture, increasing your activity levels, reducing your fall risk, reducing your fear of falling, and addressing dizziness. Working with your provider can also help if you have risk factors related to certain medications, depression, vision, or medical conditions. The most important thing is to be honest about your fear of falling and any falls you have sustained. Give us a call today and we can get started helping you get ready to be more mobile in your home, confident in your mobility, and back out in the great outdoors!

Join us on Tuesday, April 16th, 2024 from 4-5:30 pm for a Balance and Fall Risk Event. Call today to secure your spot in the free event.

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