RISK OF FALL By Navneet Kaur

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Geriatric population face a lot of problems due to changing social norms; Risk of fall is one of the major issue/ problem faced by elderly. It can have devastating consequences related to health which needs to be taken care of. As a physiotherapist, we can help the elderly patients in various ways overcoming this problem.

Risk of fall affects the confidence of the patient, which in turn leads to loss of muscle strength because the patient will not perform any kind of activity due to past fall experiences, and this behaviour makes the patient more prone to fall.

ROLE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY-

  1. Strengthening- Strengthening of quadricep and calf muscles because it helps while walking.
  2. Endurance-  It is the ability to tolerate an activity for prolonged period of time.
  3. Flexibility- If strength and endurance is been taken care of but flexibility is compromised then there are chances of fall. This is because muscle cannot produce optimal strength when in a shortened position. But if the muscles are overly stretched, then they becomes weak too.

HERE ARE SOME EXERCISES THAT CAN HELP PREVENT RISK OF FALL-

  1. FOOT TAP/ TOE TAP- Patient should perform this exercise by holding one hand with the support or do it on the stairs by holding the railing. Now touch the toe to top of one stair and tap it back and down. Progression will depend upon balance of the patient.
  2. STANDING MARCHES- Support should be on either left or right side of the patient.
  3. SIT TO STAND- Patient can start off sit to stand by using their arms and then progress to pushing off thighs while standing. Do not get up halfway. Stand tall. Next progression would be by using one hand support for standing
  4. STEPS- Take five steps turning head to the left and other five turning head and looking  to the right.

NOTE- Patient should be comfortable and under supervision of a physiotherapist while performing  these exercises.

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