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Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among seniors 65 years of age and older. Falls are also the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for seniors, threatening their independence, mobility, and safety.

If you or a loved one are experiencing limited mobility caused by pain, fear of falling, or lack of strength, physical therapy can help. There are several reasons that contribute to the high numbers of seniors that fall. Difficulties with balance, walking and lower body weakness increase the risk of falling. Certain medical conditions that affect gait and balance, such as Parkinson’s disease increase the risk of falling.

Physical therapists are experts in movement. When seniors engage in certain prevention exercises and activities, they likely decrease their risk of falling. Increasing strength, flexibility, and balance likely help seniors improve stability and walking. Your physical therapist will design an exercise program that will increase leg strength, improve balance and increase flexibility. Increasing strength leads to better balance which leads to greater confidence and more mobility. Choosing the right physical therapist will not only educate you in how to keep moving without pain, but will practice with you until you feel comfortable moving on your own. Movement is the key to independence.

There are misconceptions that cause seniors to restrict their lifestyle. This article from the National Council Of the Aging has some excellent information regarding Debunking the Myths of Older Adult Falls.

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Vertigo can be resolved through physical therapy. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (hereby referred to as BPPV,) is a type of vertigo. A type of vertigo that can be resolved through physical therapy. I am experienced in treating vertigo. Give me a call at (914) 500-5239.

The Vestibular System is a collection of structures in your inner ear that provides you with your sense of balance and an awareness of your spatial orientation. There are 3 semicircular canals located there. Sometimes loose calcium particles or crystals can break off from there normal place, the utricle, which is in the inner ear and end up floating in these canals. These particles are not supposed to be there.

Any changes in head position will cause vertigo sensations. Complaints may include a sense of tilt, spinning, or lightheadedness. Complaints when rolling over in bed, getting up from bed, bending down and reaching for an object on the floor, washing your hair in the shower.

BPPV is easy to diagnose and treat. To determine if you have BPPV, the therapist will perform The Dix-Hallpike Test. It only takes a few minutes to complete. Depending on the results of this test, further testing may be required and can be done in the same session.

The treatment includes particle repositioning that involves a series of movements that shift the crystals out of the semicircular canals and back to their appropriate location in the utricle, where they belong. Additional repositioning and/or exercises may be needed if symptoms continue.

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