Sunday, December 31, 2017

Exercise and Fall Prevention

As people get older one of the biggest threats to their health and independence are falls.  A brief review of the statistics on falls provides a sobering view of the threat.

 Falls are the #1 cause of death as a result of unintentional injury among people 75 and older and the #2 cause of death as a result of unintentional injury among people age 65 – 74.

Falls are the #1 cause of non-fatal unintentional injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in every age group except ages 15 – 24.

Fall result in the second most expensive worker’s compensation claims with an average cost of $23,929.

One out of every three people older than 65 will fall this year.

50% of the people older than 65 who have fallen will fall again in the next 12 months.

Most falls are unreported (even serious falls) because senior fear losing their independence, and many seniors would rather die than lose their independence.

The treatment of osteoporosis with drugs is very ineffective at preventing fractures because it does nothing to prevent the primary cause of fractures which is falls.

Modifiable Risk Factors for Falls

Strength (in particular lower body and core strength)

Mobility (of ankle, knee and hip in particular)

Fear of falling from previous fall/s resulting in altered gate and restricted activity levels which further increases fall risk

Poor Balance which has three systems (visual, inner ear, proprioception)

Impaired Vision

Cognitive Status/Mood

Environmental Factors (slippery floors, rugs, poor lighting, etc.

Medication Side Effects

Exercise for Fall Prevention

Exercise can help address several fall risk factors including strength, mobility, balance along with improved cognitive status.

The most effective exercise boosts lower body and core strength while including a balance component that can be adjusted to each individual’s current capabilities.   This exercise should be weight bearing whenever possible and functional in nature.

reACT – Rapid Eccentric Anaerobic Core Trainer

One of the finest ways to address the exercise component of a fall prevention program is the use of the reACT Trainer.    The reACT Trainer provides a no impact training stimulus with a self-selected range of motion and allows for progressive balance challenge to fit just about any ability level.  
The reACT Trainer is a functional eccentric trainer meaning it provides eccentric dominant exercise that is highly functional in nature with strong emphasis on integrated functional movements in multiple planes of motion with the ability to adjust movement speed to increase or decrease the challenge level.   It is also a very safe training modality.

For more information on how the reACT Trainer can help prevent falls check out the following videos:

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