Recognizing the Benefits of Physical Therapy During National Safety Month
Each June, we recognize National Safety Month by highlighting how we can reduce leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. This year, the National Safety Council is focusing on the dangers of slips, trips and falls.
Falling is the number-one cause of injury for older Americans. Every 11 seconds, a senior citizen goes to the emergency room after a fall, resulting in roughly 300,000 hip fractures and 800,000 hospitalizations every year. Further, an estimated 27,000 seniors are killed each year due to falls in the United States.
Unfortunately, these numbers are predicted to rise if current trends do not change. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fall death rates among the elderly increased by 30% between 2007 and 2016, a trend that will result in seven fall deaths every hour by 2030.
However, this growing trend does not have to continue. According to the National Institute on Aging, physical activity and regular exercise regimens are simple solutions that can reduce the risk of falls.
Physical therapy can also serve as a preventative safety method. A physical therapist can develop regular exercise regimens that include balance training and patient-specific exercises that strengthen their body and reduce the risk of a falling. One recent program, for example, successfully reduced falls by 35% to 40% among seniors by focusing on improving the endurance, balance, and strength of patients.
Physical therapists are well-equipped to assist patients with fall-prevention strategies. Click here to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy.