The Importance of Improving Balance

April 29, 2017

Article written by: Lydia Donoho, PTA

We may or may not realize it, but as we age our risk of falling greatly increases. Visual impairments, inner ear problems, muscle weakness, peripheral neuropathy and even some medications can affect balance. Some of the dangers of falling include bone fractures, head trauma and even death. The statistics from the danger of falling is staggering. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

 ~ One-fourth of Americans aged 65 and older fall every year.

~ Every eleven seconds, an elderly person is treated in the emergency room from a fall, and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

~ Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related admissions among older adults.

While it is important for the elderly person to improve balance to prevent falls, it also helps keep them independent longer and affects their quality of life. Through exercise, they will improve their strength and endurance which is also important for balance. Everyone can benefit from exercise and balance training because we use balance daily to navigate curbs and stairs, walk across uneven surfaces like our yards and snow, and even stepping over objects. Athletes also benefit from balance training by being quicker to respond to the demands of their sport.

Contact us and come in for an evaluation at PTOSI Physical Therapy (612) 872-2700 if you or someone you know has experienced a fall or is having trouble with balance.  Our physical therapists are highly trained in balance training and fall prevention.     

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