Falling down at home, while shopping, or out in the community is scary, but is a very real problem that many people face. It can be embarrassing to admit or worrisome, and often people are unsure how or where to seek help. Physical therapists are trained professionals and have the ability not only to assess a person’s fall risk, but also to determine the main reasons why someone may be at risk of falling. Physical therapists also formulate a plan of action to help reduce one’s future risk of falls. This blog will walk you through different scenarios and demonstrate how physical therapy can help someone after a fall, someone who fears falling, or has been injured as a result of a fall. There will be valuable information here to explain how PT can help if you or a loved one has impaired balance, has fallen once, or has fallen multiple times.
Approximately 1 in 4 mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) in adults occur at work and are associated with substantial productivity loss, economic burden, persistent symptoms, and occupational disability1. Concussions in the workplace are most commonly caused by falls, getting struck in the head by falling objects, or motor vehicle accidents2. Most adults recover from an mTBI or concussion within 7-10 days; however, individuals who continue to have persistent symptoms beyond this timeframe are more at risk for further co-morbidities, including aerobic deconditioning, chronic pain, anxiety disorder, depression, as well as poor work performance3.
With all of the ice and snow that come with wintertime, slippery conditions can greatly increase the risk of falls that could potentially result in serious injury. According to the CDC, one out of every five falls causes an injury and for the 65+ population, falling is the leading cause of injury and death within this age group. Given these stats, it is important to take some precautions to keep you safe outside.
Falls in older adults are a significant concern in all of healthcare. Fall death rates have increased 30 percent from 2007 to 2016.1 Every year, 3 million older adults are treated in the emergency department for fall related injuries.2 Patients who experience falls can become trapped in a cycle where they are afraid of falling and limit their activity leading to greater deconditioning and increase their risk for subsequent falls. Medicare mandates that patients who are over the age of 65 should be screened annually for falls by a healthcare provider. In states with direct access laws, physical therapists may be the only medical contact that the patient has in a calendar year. We can be the first to find out if patients are at a risk for falls and proactively address their deficits.