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.