Neurologic/Geriatric>>Gait, Balance & Falls - 1/5/2007
v Falls is a leading cause of injury-related visits to the ER in persons over the age of 65 years old.
v Common risk factors for falls include: medications, reduced vision, environmental hazards and deconditioned state/generaliz
v Balance relies on three types of sensory information: Vision, Proprioception (your body’s internal sense of spatial orientation) and your Vestibular System (your inner ears).
v Poor posture can impair your sense of balance.
v Strength, flexibility, and endurance are crucial to maintaining balance and preventing falls. If balance reactions are delayed due to weakness, a person can fall following loss of balance regardless if the three balance factors above are intact.
v Research indicates that the risk of falling in older adults can be reduced dramatically when specific exercises, activities and interventions are prescribed by physical therapists.
v A physical therapist can review your medical history and your general physical condition (strength, flexibility, posture, and balance tests) to determine your risk for falls.
v In addition to assessing your physical condition, a physical therapist will take a detailed fall history to piece together the reasons (i.e. what physical impairments that maybe contributing to falls) and the circumstances (Uneven terrain, soft carpets that may disrupt your proprioception,
v BALANCE IS A SKILL YOU CAN KEEP-OR RECAPTURE! MUCH DETERIORATION IN BALANCE ASSOCIATED WITH AGE IS IMPLY DUE TO NOT USING THIS SKILL.