Physical Therapy for Balance & Falls Prevention
Problems with balance can arise as a complication of normal aging as well as from various medical conditions such as neurological conditions, dizziness and side-effects related to cancer treatment. During your first visit you will be evaluated and assessed for your risk of falling as well as your individual deficits in relation to your strength, balance, and mobility. Your physical therapist will then provide you with training and home exercises to specifically address your areas of impairment.
- Difficulty walking
- Disuse disequilibrium
Falls Prevention Therapy team
The physical therapists of the Outpatient Rehabilitation Department at Virginia Hospital Center specialize in balance and falls prevention therapy and have additional training in addressing specific impairments of strength and stability that affect your balance and can lead to falls.
Make Your Home a Fall-Free Zone
Cathy Turner, Director of Health Promotion and Senior Health, shares some simple and inexpensive things you can do to make your house safer and reduce fall risk.
- Remove small throw rugs with fringed or curled edges; they are a tripping hazard. Replace them with mats that lay flat and grip the floor.
- Ensure that main walking areas are free of obstacles.
- Make sure all areas of your home are well lit. Install night lights in each bathroom and put a light in each bedroom that you can turn on and off without getting out of bed.
- Install grab bars next to your tub, shower and toilet.
- Exercise is the number one fall-prevention intervention seniors can take for their health. Recent findings show exercise can reduce fall risk by almost 50%. For best results, combine exercises that increase strength, improve gait, develop balance and build endurance.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review all your medications (or the medications of a family member) to see if any of them cause sleepiness or dizziness. If so, discuss the situation with your doctor.
- Be sure to have an eye exam every year. Poor vision can increase the risk of falling.
- Wear shoes inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers. When getting up from a bed or chair, do so slowly to prevent dizziness.