Poor Balance and Dizziness Cause Significant Risk to your Health
Dr. Marci Catallo-Madruga, PT, DPT, CFDN, CWC, CTT, AIB-VR
Did you know that dizziness is the number one cause of a fall in persons over the age of 70? Even more staggering the falls in this population are responsible for most Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Fractures of the wrist, thigh, and hip as well as the shoulder in this group of seniors. These injuries can lead to our seniors being placed in Homes or Long Term Care Facilities. Of those that fall, 20% will die with in the first year afterward if they sustain an injury.
The cost of a fall can be staggering to both the person and the Medical system, but also the family of the person that falls. Imagine that your mother or father fall and fracture a hip. They have surgery, but due to their age they have more difficulty in recovery. Instead of going home immediately, where they can be in familiar surroundings, they are sent to a rehab facility for a stay ranging from 2-8 weeks. Often times going to a rehab Facility can cause depression because the persons want their independence and feel like they are having their freedoms taken away. This can lead to them not participating n the rehab need to go home so the end up going to Long Term Care instead.
What if there was another way?
Physical Therapists trained to do rehabilitation for Dizziness; Vertigo and balance dysfunction, Like those at Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, can help prevent that fall, that potential TBI or Fracture. I won’t say that it is easy, but the right steps and exercises can make a huge difference in Quality of life for persons over the age of 60.
Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation exercises focus first on getting your vision clear with head movement. We then gradually progress through standing balance tasks with cognitive tasks and head movement to help move you through at a pace that is right for you. We also add things for simple tasks like sit to stand and core strength.
Some of the Things can even be as simple as Drinking water, while others require some work on the part of the patient. Decreased Strength, Dehydration and Low Blood Sugar can all attribute to the cause of your dizziness. We can teach you how to manage them all and help prevent a fall in you or your family.
People who are at risk include anyone with a neurological condition such as MS, stroke, TBI; Concussion, even if it was in your earlier years, anyone over the age of 40, people who don’t regularly exercise. Research has shown that as much as 35% of persons over 40 have had at least one episode of Vertigo