November 6, 2014
"Steps to Avoid an Accident" by Katie Hafner (Nov. 3, 2014) raises an important point -- loss of balance and falls could be prevented if adults take measures to protect themselves, much as they do against health conditions such as heart disease. However, the article failed to mention that an assessment and treatment by a licensed physical therapist is the best way to obtain this protection.
Loss of balance and limitations in mobility can be effectively prevented, reversed, or delayed by physical therapist treatment. A comprehensive balance assessment performed by a physical therapist can determine factors that contribute to an individual's loss of mobility, risk for falls, and/or decreased confidence.
A physical therapist plan of care will include exercises to improve strength, aerobic capability, flexibility, proper gait, and the function of the vestibular (balance) system. A physical therapist will also conduct balance training and fear management.
For more information on the physical therapist's role in preventing falls and to find a physical therapist in your area, please visit www.MoveForwardPT.com.
Although an individual's age is a risk factor for falling, falls are not an inevitable part of aging.
Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS
American Physical Therapy Association