How Can Physical Therapists Reduce Risk of Falls?

Physical therapists reduce risk of falls

Physical therapists can significantly reduce the risk of falls, especially for older adult populations. During each appointment, they conduct thorough assessments to identify risk factors that can make a person more likely to fall. This may include evaluating balance, gait, sensation, muscle strength, coordination, medication side effects, vision, footwear, and home safety hazards. 

Based on their assessment findings, the physical therapist will design an individualized treatment plan to reduce fall risks. This may include balance training, gait training, and strengthening exercises. Treatment sessions may also incorporate dynamic standing balance training, multi-directional stepping, walking on uneven surfaces, and dual-tasking. Based on patient experiences, physical therapists often encourage their patients to practice personalized tasks. This helps improve their confidence when performing activities that they frequently complete throughout the day at home. 

Physical therapists can also instruct patients on safe ways to get up after a fall. This may involve rolling onto your side, getting onto your hands and knees, and using stable furniture for support. Physical therapists can help you rehearse the motions needed to stand back up in a safe and step-by-step manner. Learning how to safely get off the floor can improve patient confidence in recovering independently if a fall happens. Your PT can give you exercises to improve your strength to help get up after a fall.

If you have a history of falls or would just like to reduce your risk of falling, try physical therapy. Your physical therapist’s expertise in fall prevention, balance training, and fall recovery techniques can help you remain active. This will keep you engaged within your homes and communities. To learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for fall prevention check out the Academy of Physical Therapy’s Article Physical Therapy Guide to Falls. To learn more about how physical therapists can help reduce falls in the winter, check out another MOSAIC blog here.