Slippery When Wet: Prevent Falls And Fractures With Physical Therapy

December 12, 2017

One out of every four Americans over the age of 65 fall each year (Center for Disease Control). Many of these falls can lead to non-fatal injuries like fractures, sprains and strains. Untreated, some falls can be fatal.
Keep Fit To Prevent Injury

Maintain a healthy weight. If you smoke or drink alcohol, quit.

Follow these tip to lower your chances of falling and becoming injured:
  • Stay active.  Regular exercise improves muscles and makes you stronger. It also helps keep your joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible.
  • Have your eyes and hearing tested. Even small changes in sight and hearing may cause you to fall.
  • Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take. If  you find yourself sleeping too much or dizzy, tell your doctor.
  • Get plenty of sleep. If you are sleepy, you are more likely to fall.
  • Stand up slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop. That can make you feel wobbly. Get your blood pressure checked when lying and standing.
  • Use an assistive device if you need help feeling steady when you walk. A physical or occupational therapist can help you decide which devices might be helpful and teach you how to use them .
  • Be careful when walking on wet or icy surfaces. Have sand or salt spread on icy areas by your front or back door.
  • Wear non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes, or lace-up shoes with nonskid soles that support your feet.
More than three-quarters of all falls take place in the home. Prepare and protect yourself from hazardous conditions before leaving the house, and make things safer in the home as well.
  • De-clutter, re-route and remove obstacles that may obstruct your view and cause you to trip.
  • Remove or replace rugs where assistive devices may get caught.
  • Place water-absorbent, walk-off mats where water, soap or ice may accumulate.
  • Equip your house with good lighting in and outside around the house.
  • Put a nightstand next to your bed where a phone and eyeglasses are accessible, in case of emergencies.
  • If you have poor balance and strength, consider installing handrails in bathrooms and grab bars in showers and near the toilet.
If you are concerned about falling, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to screen your risk for falls. Your physical therapist will develop a program to improve balance, coordination, mobility and strength.
What to Do If You Fall

A sudden fall can be startling and upsetting. If you do fall, stay as calm as possible. Take several deep breaths to try to relax. Remain still on the floor or ground for a few moments. This will help you get over the shock.

If you think you can get up safely without help, roll over onto your side. Rest again while your body and blood pressure adjust. Slowly get up on your hands and knees, and crawl to a sturdy chair.
Carrying a mobile or portable phone with you as you move about makes it easier to call someone if you need help.
To learn more about physical therapy treatment programs for preventing falls or to strengthen muscles and joints, set up a free exploratory examination with one of our doctors today.
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Moriarty Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapist provider here in the Hudson Valley with centers located near you. To find out more about physical therapy or to book your first appointment with a physical therapist, visit our website at www.moriartypt.com or contact Moriarty Physical Therapy at (845) 454-4137.
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