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My balance is off...what can I do???

The statistics are sobering:

  • at least one-third of community-dwelling people over 65 years of age fall each year

  • the rate of fall-related injuries increases with age 

  • Falls can have serious consequences, such as fractures and head injuries

There are options to help reduce these rates.

First off, turn towards physical therapy for care.  Numerous studies point to PT as the first stop for managing balance difficulties for all adults, whether you have a neurological condition, are dizzy, or have had a joint replacement.  The causes of balance difficulties can be complex, and this requires a comprehensive evaluation looking at specific aspects of your movement system.

Medicare requires that further assessment be completed by a healthcare practitioner (physical therapist) if you:

  • are concerned about your balance

  • have noticeable balance difficulties (reaching out for the walls or furniture in the home)

  • have fallen in the past year 

 

Pain can be a significant variable in your ability to balance successfully, and prevent falls.  More pain can equal less balance ability.  We provide approaches to pain management that do not require medication to enable ease in movement.  Sometimes this needs to be the first stop in your care plan.

Balance confidence also plays a critical role in your movement ability.  If one is less confident, there can be less desire to move, leading to inactivity and worsening of balance ability.  Use it or lose it, use it and IMPROVE it!  

 

We use evidence-based treatment approaches to assess and manage your balance.  We also "dose" your balance activity, just like your primary care provider would thoughtfully consider your medication dosage.  Studies show that people with balance difficulties need at least 50 hours of specific balance work over the course of 6 months to reap the benefits of their exercise.  This works out to be about 15 minutes per day.  Once therapy is completed, we transition either to a comprehensive home program or to evidence-based programs like Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance  to ensure your gains in balance are maintained.

     

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