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Physical therapy can make a difference—not just in recovery, but in falls prevention.

Falls are a major public health concern. According to the CDC, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States, and 20% to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries. Falls can exact a toll long after the initial injury, outranking chronic kidney disease, asthma, and Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in terms of effects on disability-adjusted life years, according to a 2017 Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors study.

The physical therapy profession's role in falls risk reduction and prevention is supported by a strong body of research. What we do works.

Sept. 22, 2023 was National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.


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Fall Risk in Community-Dwelling Elders

Jan 16, 2013 / Article

Value of Physical Therapy in Reducing Falls

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APTA Suggests: More on Balance and Falls

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Additional Balance and Falls Content

Position Paper: SAFE STEPS for Veterans Act

Jul 12, 2024 / Position Paper

APTA strongly supports the SAFE STEPS for Veterans Act (S. 4556). The legislation would establish an Office of Falls Prevention within the Veterans Health Administration, tasked with preemptively identifying and treating veterans at risk of falling.

Position Paper: Stopping Addiction and Falls for the Elderly Act

Apr 5, 2024 / Position Paper

APTA strongly supports this act aimed at expanding and increasing access to falls screening and prevention in order to reduce the use of opioids that often occur as a result of a fall.

Study: Physical Therapy After Dizziness Diagnosis Lowers Fall Risk by 86%

Sep 19, 2023 / Article

Patients receiving physical therapy within three months of diagnosis reported significantly lower rates of falls as much as 12 months later.

Death From Falls Continues to Climb for Adults 65 and Older, CDC Says

Dec 9, 2022 / Article

In the U.S., mortality rates from unintentional falls have risen dramatically between 2000 and 2020, nearly tripling for women 85 and older.

A Closer Look at Falls and Falls Prevention

Sep 1, 2022 / Feature

All older adults should be screened for risk of falling. With National Falls Prevention Awareness week happening in September, here's a recap of reasons why and resources to help PTs meet that standard.

Evidence-Based Resources: APTA Keeps Members Up To Speed

Mar 23, 2022 / Roundup

APTA continues to expand an important member benefit. Here are the latest additions.

Functional Movement Disorders

Jan 13, 2022 / Article

Functional movement disorders (FMD) are characterized by a sudden onset of neurological symptoms resulting in abnormal involuntary movements with symptom variability that cannot be explained by a conventional neurological or medical disorder.

Falls Prevention: Assessing the Effects of the Pandemic

Sep 22, 2021 / Roundup

For Falls Prevention Awareness Week, a collection of recent research articles that focus on the intersection between falls and COVID-19.

Falls Responsible for 90% of Injury-Related ED and Hospital Visits Among 65+

May 27, 2021 / Review

A new report from CDC highlights the need for more emphasis on falls prevention — including referrals for physical therapy.

Falls Prevention: Recent Studies Make the Case for PT, PTA Involvement

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The magnitude of falls as a public health issue is significant — but more attention to falls prevention could make a difference.