Contribution by Erika Garcia, PT, DPT
At some point in your life, you have witnessed a fall, heard of someone falling, or have slipped and fallen yourself. But the question remains, why do people fall and will it happen to me?
To begin with, falls are correlated with balance. When we think of balance, we often think of a tightrope circus star or a ballerina spinning on her toes. However, balance is involved with the simplest actions, such as walking, standing, and even sitting. So how do we know if we have poor balance? If you struggle with the simple activities mentioned above, you will need a physical therapist to help identify the problems. Struggling with stairs, walking on the grass, or even looking back and forth at items in the grocery store could also be indicators of poor balance.
Unfortunately, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States and 20% to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries” (APTA, 2018). This bleak statistic reveals the importance of balance and why you should be concerned about it. In addition, one of the main injuries involved with a fall is a broken femur, the bone that attaches your leg to your hip. In individuals older than 60, a broken hip that does not penetrate skin can lead to a 17% death rate and a complication rate of 54% (MoveForwardPT, 2013).
Thus, if you or someone you love is struggling with performing simple activities and requires assistance, seeing a physical therapist is necessary. Luckily, Illinois is now a direct access state, meaning you do not require a physician's referral to see a physical therapist. All you have to do is give us a call at Crystal Lake Physical Thearpy, Inc. and we will schedule you to work with one of our experienced therapists. By improving balance, quality of life is improved and falls can then be prevented. So if you have a fear of falling or have fallen in the past, please give us a call and we will be glad to help you.
Also, check out our Free Balance Training Workshop being held at Del Webb Sun City's Prairie Lodge in Huntley, IL (in the Birch Room) on April 24, 2019. Click below to register for our workshop as seating is limited!
Emily Craigen, owner of Crystal Lake Physical Therapy, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a local Crystal Lake resident who is excited to bring health and wellness to her community.