BRRRRR, IT’S COLD IN HERE!
With winter fast approaching, many peoples’ minds begin to race: some with excitement over the upcoming holiday seasons and winter adventures, while others dread the next few months of Wisconsin below freezing temperatures. Despite all this winter wonderland talk, whether you are a winter-lover or a winter-loather, one thing everyone should also be thinking about is falling. No, not in love sappy-pants, physically falling. The infamous ice monster leads to multiple falls each winter! The good news is that there are many things we can do to reduce our risk of this trauma: cue physical therapy.
Falls in general (it’s not all the ice monster’s fault) wreak havoc, both on an individual level and on our healthcare system. Direct medical costs from falls total near $30 billion each year (Phelan et al., 2015); with an aging population you can only assume this number will grow in the future. This makes sense when you consider at least 30% of individuals over the age of 60 fall each year (Gerards et al., 2017). For the individual, falls often result in personal injury, loss of independence, reduced participation in social activity, and overall quality of life. As mentioned, however, there is good news. It has been documented that up to a 20% risk reduction in falls can be achieved after participating in common physical therapy interventions including: balance training, resistance training, and aerobic exercise. Twenty percent risk reduction makes a big deal when this many people are falling each year.
To reduce you risk of being attacked by the ice monster, and have a darn good time in the process, stop over to your local APTSM and let us help prevent you from turning into another fall statistic.
Safe Hunting and Happy Thanksgiving,
PS: For more information on preventing falls: https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/check_for_safety_brochure-a.pdf
Gerards, M. H. G., McCrum, C., Mansfield, A., and Meijer, K. (2017) Perturbation-based balance training for falls reduction among older adults: Current evidence and implications for clinical practice. Geriatrics & Gerontology International.
Phelan, E. A., Mahoney, J. E., Voit, J. C., & Stevens, J. A. (2015). Assessment and Management of Fall Risk in Primary Care Settings. The Medical Clinics of North America, 99(2), 281–293.