Otago Fall Prevention
Otago is a series of 17 strength and balance exercises taught by a Physical Therapist that reduces falls between 35 and 40% for older adults. This evidence-based program, developed in New Zealand, calls for PTs to assess, coach and progress patients. Recent research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention shows statistically significant improvement in clinical scores after as little as 8 weeks.
What is a balance disorder?
A balance disorder is a condition that makes you feel unsteady or dizzy. If you are standing, sitting, or lying down, you might feel as if you are moving, spinning, or floating. If you are walking, you might suddenly feel as if you are tipping over.
Everyone has a dizzy spell now and then, but the term "dizziness" can mean different things to different people. For one person, dizziness might mean a fleeting feeling of faintness, while for another it could be an intense sensation of spinning (vertigo) that lasts a long time.
Experts believe that more than four out of 10 Americans, sometime in their lives, will experience an episode of dizziness significant enough to send them to a doctor. Balance disorders can be caused by certain health conditions, medications, or a problem in the inner ear or the brain. A balance disorder can profoundly impact daily activities and cause psychological and emotional hardship.
Treatment for Balance Disorders
Treatment of balance & dizziness disorders can be very complex. Nevertheless, we have helped numerous residents in the community cope with or recover from conditions that cause balance disorders.
The first thing your doctor will do if you have a balance problem is determining if another health condition or a medication is to blame. If so, your doctor will treat the condition, suggest a different medication, or in many cases, refer you to one of our balance disorder therapists here at Venture Physical Therapy of Marietta.
How Our Physical Therapists Can Help
Physical therapist directed treatment can assist patients with balance disorders in a number of ways. Our physical therapists can prescribe and implement a variety of treatments including:
- Coordination Exercises
- Proprioception Exercises
- Strengthening Exercises
- Stretching and Range of Motion Exercises
- Posture Exercises
- Retraining of the Inner Ear
- Visual Tracking Training
Education is Therapy
The most important part of treating a balance disorder is understanding your diagnosis, the cause of the problem, and how to manage it. That's why we place great emphasis on patient education and coordination of care with your referring physician.
Three Additional and Important Treatment Options
Reduce Fall Risk. Your physical therapist will assess problem footwear and hazards in your home that increase your risk of balance problems or falling. Household hazards include loose rugs, poor lighting, unrestrained pets, or other possible obstacles.
Reduce Fear of Falling. By addressing specific problems that are found during the examination, your physical therapist will help you regain confidence in your balance and your ability to move freely, and perform daily activities. As you build confidence in your balance and physical ability, you will be better able to enjoy your normal daily activities.
Care Collaboration. Working in collaboration with your medical doctor, allows you to get two expert opinions and assessments of your condition. Together, we can better address your balance disorders and decrease your fear of falling and fall risks.
We Can Help You Cope With Your Condition
The physical therapists at Venture Physical Therapy of Marietta can also help increase your strength and coordination to help lower your risk of falling and getting hurt during daily activities, such as when you walk up or downstairs, use the bathroom or exercise.
Some people with a balance disorder will need the help of our vestibular rehabilitation therapists to cope with their problems. In each case, we will conduct a personalized evaluation of your condition, and then we will develop an individualized treatment plan.
Call us today to learn more about how we can develop a personalized treatment program for your balance problems and help you get back to enjoying a higher quality of life.