The role of a Physiotherapist in Falls Prevention
Have you fallen recently and now have a fear of falling again? Maybe you have reduced the number of times you go out in a week, or would prefer to sit in your living room instead of visiting friends? Falling as we get older can become more common. However, this should not change the way you live your life or produce a fear of leaving your home – as this can make your risk of falls higher. According to gov. uk, 3 million people in the UK have a diagnosis of osteoporosis and this is a leading cause of falls. Between 2017-2018 around 220,160 people were admitted to the hospital due to a fall.
So how do we work with falls, and what can falls prevention do to give confidence, strength and balance back to older adults. This month, Physio Healing hands look at what you can do to reduce your risk of falls and how a physiotherapist can play a crucial role in improving your mobility.
Physiotherapists are trained professionals who have a lot of experience working with falls prevention clients, older adults and those who need to improve their strength and balance capabilities. Those looking for falls prevention support often work with Physio Healing Hands as they find the wait times much shorter than going to a healthcare professional. Working with a physiotherapist gives that tailored approach that those having frequent falls enjoy more. The service is personable, and treatment can work over a more extended period, providing trust and confidence to the client.
There are several ways a physiotherapist can support falls prevention strategies. A physiotherapist will examine the client and look at key reasons for increased falls. Physios can detect subtle changes in movement, posture and balance, which could be the reason for falling. Physios will also look at environmental and behavioural factors contributing to any falls.
Physiotherapy and Falls Prevention in Older Adults
If you have noticed an increase in your falls and would like to work on improving your balance and strength before you incur an injury, a physiotherapist will support you with critical improvements, a tailored exercise plan and ongoing advice, all aimed at improving your strength and decreasing your risk of falls.
Rehabilitation After a Fall
Unfortunately, many falls can result in injury, whether superficial or more serious. Those who have had an injury because of a fall may need support to get back on their feet and regain the strength lost through extended periods in hospital or a long time spent off their feet. A physio will support with a bespoke exercise plan and regime to rehabilitate muscles and joints, aiding recovery and helping with falls prevention.
Simple Tips to Reduce the Risk of Falls
It is an unfortunate truth that falls can be dangerous to our bodies and mental health. Whilst we may not wholly prevent falls, there are some steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk of falls, mainly if you are prone to falling.
If you have been falling more frequently, we strongly advise you to book an appointment with your health care provider. They will be able to support you in assessing any reasons you could be falling, as well as to assess your risk and discuss any falls prevention strategies you could implement. Sometimes, your falls could be due to inappropriate footwear or changes in your home. Your doctor, however, will want to rule out any illnesses or ear infections as well.
Ask for a medication review with your prescriber. Medications always have side effects, and some include a balance reduction or risk of falling due to low blood pressure. It is always worth having a medication review of your prescribed and non-prescription medications to ensure they are reacting positively together and not affecting your balance. Keep note of your previous falls, what happened and how it happened. These will be invaluable to your health care professional when you discuss falls and falls prevention with them.
It can be common for people who have frequent falls to stop exercising or moving around as much. As scary as it can be, gentle exercise is essential if you fall more frequently. Often, gentle exercise can improve your strength, balance and coordination, making falls less likely. Working with a physiotherapist like Physio Healing Hands means you will get support from a trained professional and will be offered a tailored plan to improve your strength and balance as part of falls prevention.
Consider your shoes and your surroundings and the part they have to play in your balance. Unsupportive shoes, slick soles and floppy footwear can often contribute to your risk of falls. Ensure your shoes and supportive, have backs to them and have good grips on the soles to support you. Check your home for debris, clutter or things that could increase your risk of falls. Try and keep a safe pathway throughout your home so you can navigate safely.
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Physio Healing Hands Support you with Falls Prevention Classes
Our vision at Physio Healing Hands is to enable people to maximise their functional potential through the provision of a specialist physio. Our extensive clinical knowledge and bespoke treatments provide confidence and results to many of our clients. Whether you have a neurological condition or you are falling due to something undiagnosed, we will work closely with you to not only find out what is causing you to fall but how we can help and improve your outlook and strength.
To book an appointment or speak with a physiotherapist, give us a call. We are conveniently located in Aylesbury with links to Amersham, High Wycombe and Chesham. Discuss your needs and whether you need a house visit to start your physiotherapy. Our holistic approach is aimed at all clients suffering from pain unnecessarily. We will work around your schedule, and our services are entirely flexible and tailored to you and your needs.
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