Fear of Falling

The majority of people are afraid of similar things. Speaking in public, spiders and flying repeatedly top the survey lists. But there's another fear that is less publicized, but will be no surprise to seniors and their loved ones: the fear of falling. And although speaking in public is statistically unlikely to actually harm you, the same can't be said of losing your balance. Some believe that falling is an inevitable part of growing older. This simply isn't true.

One of the best ways to prevent falls is to enlist the help of a Physical Therapist. Many assume that Physical Therapy is just about exercising, but this is only part of the story. There are 3 areas that work together to coordinate your sense of balance: your inner ear, your vision and your body. A Therapist will comprehensively evaluate these systems to pinpoint your risk for falling and then take action to stop a fall before it happens.

The "Ear" part of the equation is what we call the Vestibular System. You might be surprised to know that sometimes ear related issues aren't a result of an infection at all. Instead of bacteria or a virus, you can blame several tiny microscopic particles in your inner ear called otoconia. If these little grains become displaced, then your head will be swimming! A therapist can perform a very specific series of maneuvers to get those tiny troublemakers back where they belong. In many cases, the vertigo disappears after only one treatment!

How well you see has a direct impact on your steadiness! Even something as simple as how light or dark a room is can alter your sense of balance! Think about it. If you stand on a level surface with your eyes open it's much easier to balance than if your eyes are closed. Don't try this without assistance!

If vision is impairing your sense of balance, a therapist can help you know how to compensate for this impairment. A therapist will also evaluate your somatosensory system. Sounds complicated! But it just means your "body" - your muscles, tendons, nerves, joints, sensitivity to pressure, and your sense of touch. Anything which weakens or stresses your body can impact your ability to balance. They will then help you strengthen your areas of weakness and leverage your areas of strength to improve your overall ability to balance.

I wish I could tell you that fearing a fall is irrational and silly, but the statistics say otherwise. Face your fears and ask a physical therapist for help! Targeted therapy visits alongside Interventional TeleHealth can provide practical advice to give you peace of mind and steady steps.

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30-Day Hospitalization Rate 6.7%.
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