Fall recovery training
by Amy Flory, PT, MPT
Often, people don’t realize how much their strength has declined until they’ve fallen and are unable to get up off the floor—even if they weren’t injured in the fall. If this unfortunate person finds themselves, fortunately, referred to physical therapy for balance training, the physical therapist should evaluate why you are not able to get up off the floor.
A couple of simple tests I do with patients are:
- While standing, can you “hike” your hip? Hiking your hip involves tightening one side of your waist so your hip bone gets closer to your ribs. The foot on that side should be lifted off the floor, but the leg remains straight.
- Can you move from hands-and-knees to side-sitting and back to hands-and-knees?
In my clinical experience (disclaimer: this isn’t seen—yet—in the research literature!), if you cannot do one or both of the above activities, you probably are not able to get up off the floor easily, and, more importantly, you probably will not do well with certain balance activities. Therefore, you are more likely to fall in the first place.
I didn’t even know I couldn’t do this anymore!
Perhaps you lost the ability to do these things because you hurt your shoulder years ago and have avoided bearing weight on your hand, or pulling with your arm certain ways. Perhaps you’ve been sitting watching TV a couple of hours a day and now your back is stiff enough to keep you from being able to hike your hip, or makes you lose your balance while looking over your shoulder.
Your physical therapist at CoreBalance Therapy will look at the obvious factors causing you to lose your balance, but they will also search for the hidden reasons you’ve been falling as well. It might seem like opening a can of worms, but identifying these problems and addressing them will help your balance therapy be much more successful in the long run!
To begin improving your strength, call to schedule your appointment today: (928)556-9935.