Physical Therapy Can Help Prevent Injury After a Fall

Physical TherapyEvery year, 36 million older adults fall and 3 million end up in the ER. That’s reported falls. Many others fall and never tell their doctor. Some falls are avoidable, but not every fall is. Medication side effects, sudden muscle cramps, and pets that get underfoot are all fall risks that are difficult to avoid.

If your mom falls, there are safer ways to fall. When she can’t avoid a fall, there are ways to fall that lessen the risk of a bone fracture or head injury. There are also ways to take extra precautions.

Aim For Fleshier Parts of the Body

When she cannot avoid a fall, your mom wants to land on a fleshier part of the body to provide some shock absorption. Falling sideways on the hip is a leading cause of hip fractures. Instead, she wants to try to land on her buttocks, thighs, or upper back.

Protect the Wrists and Head

She doesn’t want to catch herself with her hands. That’s a good way to break a wrist or arm. Instead, she should roll into a fall as best she can to prevent the impact from affecting one specific area.

Tuck her chin to her chest to stabilize the neck. Using her arms to shield her head will help lower the risk of a head injury.

Don’t Get Up

Your mom may want to quickly get up, but she needs to stay down for a minute and assess pain and possible injuries. If she has a back or neck injury, moving can worsen it.

It’s a good idea to talk about her wearing a smartwatch or medical alert bracelet or necklace that makes it easy to call someone for help. If she is injured, many systems will alert paramedics or someone in your mom’s trusted circle to go to her home and check on her.

Wear Shoes With Good Tread

If your mom is in her home, walking around in slick socks can increase the risk of a fall on hardwood or tile floors. Invest in slipper socks that have rubber strips for grip. Properly fitting slippers are also a good way to lower the fall risk.

Outside, your mom should have shoes suitable for the weather. If it’s icy, shoes with tread designed to grip ice should be used. If it’s wet, a tread that grips wet pavement is best.

Have Someone Around

If your mom takes medications that cause dizziness, have a caregiver with her for a few hours after she takes them. If she needs to get up and walk to another room or use the toilet, her caregiver can walk with her and make sure she stays on her feet.

Work With a Physical Therapist

Your mom may not be able to avoid every fall. If she does, ask her doctor about working with a physical therapist. Improving her balance and building muscle and joint strength are important aspects of fall prevention. Physical therapy helps with both.

Another benefit of physical therapy is that your mom has someone to help her use mobility devices correctly if she needs them. She’ll learn the right way to use her walker or cane when she’s up and about. Talk to an advisor to learn more about pricing and scheduling.

If you or an aging loved one are considering physical therapy in Havertown, PA please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.


Perry C. Doc Alleva, Owner & Administrator
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