How Physical Therapy Can Improve Balance and Prevent Falls in Older Adults

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One of the pitfalls of aging is that maintaining balance becomes increasingly harder the older we get. Falls can lead to severe injuries and have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. However, the good news is that physical therapy offers a proactive approach that addresses balance issues to prevent falls in older adults. By focusing on strength, flexibility, and coordination, physical therapy can effectively help seniors regain stability and independence.

Assessing Individual Needs

Our Qore Physical Therapy team in American Fork, Utah, is trained to evaluate your balance and identify specific areas of weakness or impairment that can put you at greater risk of falls. Through comprehensive assessments, our team, led by Russ Gatenby, are able to determine the underlying causes of your balance problems, including muscle weakness, joint stiffness or sensory deficits. This personalized approach allows us to tailor your treatment plan to address your needs specifically.

Strengthening Exercises

It’s no secret that one of the main goals of physical therapy is to improve strength and muscle function overall. Strengthening exercises target key muscle groups, particularly those involved in balance and stability, for your core, hips, legs and ankles. By gradually increasing resistance and intensity, Russ can help you build strength to improve balance and stability and more ease of movement.

Balance Training

Our team successfully uses balance training techniques to enhance stability and lower your risk of falls. These exercises focus on improving coordination, proprioception (awareness of body position in space) and reaction time. Balance training often involves standing on one leg, walking on different surfaces or performing specific movements that challenge equilibrium. Over time, these exercises help you regain your balance and develop better control over your movements.

Flexibility and Range of Motion

Reduced flexibility and limited range of motion can negatively impact your balance as you age. By employing stretching exercises we can help improve your flexibility and increase your joint mobility. By targeting those tight muscles and promoting a better range of motion, you can enhance your ability to maintain balance during everyday activities and lower your risk of falls!

Assistive Devices and Safety Measures

Our QorePT team may also provide guidance on your use of assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, to enhance stability and prevent falls as well as recommendations for home modifications and safety measures to create a fall-safe environment, reducing potential hazards and making daily living safer for you.

Gait Training

Abnormalities in gait patterns can significantly contribute to balance problems and increase your potential of falling. We can analyze and correct your gait abnormalities through gait training. We focus on improving stride length, step width, posture and coordination during walking, helping you regain confidence and stability while moving.

Education and Prevention Strategies

We can also provide education on fall prevention strategies, by explaining potential risk factors, teach you how to recognize hazards, and offer techniques to safely navigate your environment. As you can see, physical therapy is a valuable tool in addressing balance issues and preventing falls to enhance your overall well-being and quality of life. 

Call Today

If you or an aging loved one is struggling with balance or has experienced falls, we invite you to consult with Russ Gatenby and his dedicated team to help you regain stability, confidence and independence in your daily activities. Remember, it’s never too late to prioritize your balance and take proactive measures to prevent falls. Call 801-701-6699 today!