One of our most important jobs as therapists is to help our clients recognize common fall hazards in the home. Here we go over a few simple tips to help keep you safe in your home!
If you think you might benefit from a home safety assessment or have any further questions about home fall hazards please reach out to us.
As the name of our business (Advanced Balance Clinic) implies, we spend a lot of our day working with those who have balance problems! So we are often asked to explain where balance problems might be coming from.
Balance is a complex interaction between your sensory systems, the brain, and your muscles. Your sense constantly take in information about your environment and how you are moving relative to your environment, they communicate this information with your brain, and your brain then tells your body how to move. Most of this happens without you realizing it until there is a balance problem! Read more about the balance systems here or watch the video above for further information.
A few simple screening tests and measures help us determine what is causing an individuals balance problem, and we then treat what we find! Some balance problems are caused by simple muscle weakness, whereas others might be due to vision problems or vertigo. If we are unable to treat the problem,...
One of the first skills we address with new patients is getting on and off the floor. In the event of a fall, this can be a life-saving skill! But there are also many benefits of getting on and off the floor for anyone of any age.
The first step we take is to make sure someone can get on and off the floor as safely as possible. This reduces fear of falling and ending up on the floor and gives someone the confidence to know what to do in the event this happened. Then we bring more fun and creativity into the mix.
Getting on and off the floor takes your knees and hips through a larger joint range of motion than sitting in a chair, keeping you strong and healthy! Sitting on the floor also has core strengthening benefits.
If you are not feeling confident about your ability to get on and off the floor or are afraid to try this on your own, stop by the clinic any Friday between 11am and 1pm for a floor transfer screening.
For those who were unable to attend our Movement for Brain Health Workshop, we recorded a video recap of the material we presented.
In this video we cover:
And so much more!
We hope you enjoy and take something away that can positively impact your health!
One of the biggest problems surrounding falls is a lack of understanding of what a fall actually is and when it should be reported. In this video we address one of our most commonly asked questions, "What exactly is a fall?"
Long story short, a fall is defined as ANY UNCONTROLLED DESCENT. There can be some confusion, because most people only consider it a fall if they fell all the way to the ground. But a fall includes catching yourself on a wall or furniture, falling onto a bed, or even plopping into a chair!
There can be a negative stigma surrounding falls, and we hope this helps clear some of that up. Falls are nothing to be ashamed of and also nothing to be taken lightly.
If you think you might be having falls, feel unsteady, or think you might be at risk of falls reach out to a trained healthcare provider for a screening. Just a few simple physical tests and measures can give you a lot of information about your overall health and future risk of falls.
At Advanced Balance Clinic, a major part of our treatment philosophy focuses on body alignment to help get people moving better. When we refer to alignment, we mean how each body part is positioned relative to each other. For example, if you are standing and you look down where is your foot pointed relative to your hip? Is in angled out, angled in, or pointed straight forward? You might wonder why we spend so much time emphasizing these subtle variations throughout the body.
There are several components to this answer. The human body is complex. We might be focused on alignment, but also realize this is far from the whole picture. Take chronic pain for example. A focus on alignment might be a good start for some people, but pain is much more complex than meets the eye. More and more research demonstrates that chronic pain has nothing to do with what we call “posture” and is not even not well correlated with disease state. For example, someone can have terrible...
Brain health in is a topic not discussed often enough, especially within the medical community. The conversation around mental health and access to mental health services has been increasing in recent years, however the aging brain is often left out of the conversation. There are so many questions left unanswered surrounding the decline of brain health associated with aging. The medical profession has made observations about those who ultimately experience brain atrophy and those who don’t, so we are slowly gaining clarity. However, there are still many questions left unanswered.
Research has identified some clear correlations and patterns in those who ultimately receive a diagnosis of dementia. Keep in mind, however, that correlation does not equal causation. We know that balance problems and risk of falls increase with increasing severity of cognitive decline. We know poor mental health increases the risk of developing dementia. We know that muscle weakness is associated...
The ability to get on and off the floor without using hands is strongly correlated with early disability and death. This is why one of the first skills we cover with new clients is getting on and off the floor. Not only is this a life-saving skill but it is also one of our favorite strengthening activities! There are an infinite number of ways you can get on and off the floor, as well an unlimited options for sitting positions once you are on the floor. Having the confidence to know you can safely and easily get off the floor decreases your future risk of falls! If you are currently able to get yourself on and off the floor, continue to practice this skill daily. If you are unsure, see a physical or occupational therapist for a floor transfer test.
A floor transfer test is nothing fancy. As shown in the pictures above, the test involves getting on and off the floor trying to use the hands as little as possible. This test can tell you a lot about your overall strength and...
For every 1 degree of heel your shoe has, 1 degree of spine, hip, and knee joint reaction is required to compensate…. meaning for every 1 inch of heel your shoe has, it caused 20 degrees of change throughout the joints of the lower extremities and spine! Think even a modest heel is not a detriment to your health? Think again.
Our footwear choices can be a detriment to our joint, bone, and muscle health. The amount of joint reaction caused by wearing heels can be contributing to knee and hip osteoarthritis, lumbar disc compression, and even pelvic floor dysfunction (new moms please avoid heels!). Improper footwear choices are also a common culprit of falls in older adults.
One of the highest impact steps you can take toward improving your health is changing your footwear. The purpose of a shoe is simply to protect our skin from the environment. The shoe should still allow your feet to experience as much natural movement as possible.
Start by looking for shoes that are flat,...
In 2015, the costs directly related to fall injuries in older adults totaled over $31 billion to Medicare alone. That’s right. $31 billion. And this does not include costs to other insurance companies or all the secondary costs that come as a result of falls, including increased need for services and care or having to move a family member into a facility from their home.
One out of every four adults over the age of 65 falls each year. Having one fall doubles the risk of having another. Adults over the age of 75 are the highest risk group for recurrent head injuries due to repeat falls. These are staggering statistics and impact each and every one of us. As a greater proportion of our population ages these numbers are expected to rise. The burden of this preventable problem falls on family members, younger generations, and our already taxed healthcare system.
First we should clarify, falls are NOT a normal part of aging. Everyone falls, but excessive falls become a major...
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