Balance and Fall Prevention
Body balance is an essential wellness indicator. Ease of movement and fall prevention are the key benefits. Patients often ask, “Is physical therapy for balance and fall prevention important for me?” The answer is yes. Annually, falls occur in a total of one million Americans of all ages. Poor balance is a significant contributor to falls. Improving balance is a robust preventative measure. Avalanche Physical Therapy has highly trained providers who specialize in physical therapy for balance. Learn more about balance and fall prevention.
Balance and fall prevention are linked to three systems of the body working in concert:
- Visual acuity
- Ear vestibular system
- The proprioceptive nerve system of muscles, joints, and tendons
The eyes provide information about the body within the environment. The ear vestibular system, or inner ear, informs the brain of head positioning. The proprioceptive nerve system of muscles, joints, and tendons connects the discrete parts of the body in relation to the whole and its surrounding space. A limitation in one of the systems results in poor balance. Physical therapy for balance begins with an evaluation. Therapists will look for the following symptoms:
- Triangulation – reaching out to connect with a stabilizing object
- Tentativeness – with stairs, uneven surfaces, low light, etc.
- Challenged in open spaces
- Timidity with general mobility
- Increase in falls
Our physical therapy team has the expertise to help clients with poor balance symptoms. Physical therapy for balance will result in fall prevention.
Physical therapy for balance focuses on functional mobility. A comprehensive balance treatment plan is customized for Avalanche Physical Therapy patients. A sample of practical exercises includes:
- One foot stance – engages the core and proprioception
- Toe-to-heel walk – the vestibular system
- Dynamic head position walking – all three systems
- Eye-on-the-target walking – visual system
Each exercise progresses to more challenging components as balance improves. Our physical therapy specialists are available to begin the process of improving balance for patients.
A benefit of a comprehensive physical therapy plan for balance is fall prevention. Included with the exercises are a series of lifestyle hacks. Consider these fall prevention tips:
- Prepare – Safety check the home. Eliminate tripping hazards. Select well-fitting footwear and clothing. Check and correct vision, hearing, and blood pressure.
- Make good choices – Work closely with your physician and physical therapist. Exercise regularly. Maintain balance and strength training. Limit alcohol use. Avoid icy, slippery conditions. Keep hands free when active and maintain adequate sleep.
- Protect – Learn side effects from medications. Use assistive devices correctly. Rise slowly from a seated position. Avoid risky conditions.
Improving balance will help with fall prevention. Avalanche Physical Therapy works with clients on physical therapy balance treatment plans for wellness, prevention, and rehabilitation. Let us work with you. Contact Avalanche Physical Therapy in Breckenridge, Frisco, or Silverthorne to schedule your consultation.