Paddy is an inspirational woman who has been attending PhysioWest since Grant first opened the doors. Paddy has several health conditions including Pulmonary Fibrosis and Atrial Fibrillation but that doesn’t stop her being a very active member of the community.
Laura and all of the team at PhysioWest would like to congratulate Paddy on all her fantastic work in the PhysioWest gym and on living with such a brilliant healthy mindset and lifestyle; Paddy you are an inspiration to us all. Paddy attends the weekly Strength and Balance Class at PhysioWest; last week class we celebrated Paddy’s birthday with a balloon game and then enjoyed a lovely cake and chocolates. See photo below of Physio Laura with her awesome balance tribe on 28th March (left to right: Sandra, Audrey, Paddy, Maria, Laura and Dawn).
Falls Prevention with Strength & Balance Training at PhysioWest
Falls happen to one third of people over 65 years of age living in the community each year (Gillespie et al 2012). Worldwide we have an ageing population; a World Health Organisation report predicted that by 2050, the number of people aged over 80 will exceed those aged under 14 years for the first time in history (WHO, 2002). This emphasises the increasing importance on geriatric health care. Active Ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age (WHO, 2002); basically staying happy and healthy as you get older.
Falls may have serious consequences requiring hospitalisation including hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and upper limb fractures. Physiotherapy can help rehabilitation of these injuries, but you might not know how important physiotherapy can be in prevention of falls – stopping them before they happen!
Importantly, there are several risk factors which can be modified including;
- Environmental risk factors; this means the shoes you wear, the rugs you have in your house, the lighting and flooring everywhere you go
- Behavioural risk factors, like diet and exercise… This is where physiotherapy may be able to help you out
Laura, Physio, is passionate about Active Ageing and Falls Prevention. Every Wednesday at 1pm, Laura runs the Strength and Balance Class at PhysioWest. The Strength & Balance Class is evidence-based (includes interventions which are shown to be effective in the research literature). As shown by a massive Systematic Review in 2012 (included 159 trials with 79,193 participants!), multiple-component group exercise significantly reduces rate of falls and risk of falling.
Okay, now you know exercise is important to prevent falls, especially in those over 65 years old. But what exercise specifically?
Here’s exactly what will you do in the Strength & Balance Class:
- Balance training – including exercises standing on uneven surfaces (such as air discs and wobble discs) with multi-tasking and sometimes even little pushes from Laura – Perturbation training is shown to be effective in preventing falls (Papadimitriou et al 2017)
- Muscle strengthening exercises, using mini weights, therabands, gym balls and steps. Laura specialises in whole body strengthening and stretching exercises and can cater these exercises for all mobility levels.
- Pilates – in the clinic it is clear that use of the Pilates equipment (reformers and trapeze table) has been great for older people, particularly those with low back pain. A low quality study in Spain supported this (Cruz-Diaz et al 2015). Physio Laura has experience and training in using Pilates for a range of neurological conditions.
- Yoga – modified seated and standing poses with the environmental supports to challenge balance have been shown to be effective (Youkhana et al 2016)
- Tai Chi – studies have shown Tai Chi does significantly reduce risk of falling. Laura is trained in modified Yang style Tai Chi for falls prevention and exercises may include movements sitting in chairs or standing up which will challenge muscle strength, endurance and balance.
If you, or someone you know, is over 65 years old and not exercising, let them know! A individualised assessment with Laura is how you can get started coming to a Strength & Balance Class.
Not keen on group exercise? Laura can set you up on an individualised home exercise program and see you periodically in the PhysioWest gym to refine your skills. Laura can also give you education on how you can modify environmental risk factors around your house, and also address any musculoskeletal problems you might have… For example, that really stiff ankle or arthritic knee which might be a risk factor for you losing your balance.
Call us today on 8352 3582 to make an appointment, get started in class or have a chat with Laura about exercises for Strength & Balance.
Cruz-Diaz D, Martinez-Amat A, de la Torre-Cruz MJ, Casuso RA, de Guevara NML, Hita-Contreras F, Effects of a six-week Pilates intervention on balance and fear of falling in women aged over 65 with chronic low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Maturitas 2015 Dec;82(4):371-376
Gillespie LD, Robertson MC, Gillespie WJ, Sherrington C, Gates S, Clemson LM, Lamb SE. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD007146. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007146.pub3.
Papadimitriou A, Perry M, A systematic review of the effects of perturbation training on preventing falls. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 2017 Mar;45(1):31-49
WHO Global report on falls prevention in older age, 2007
Youkhana S, Dean CM, Wolff M, Sherrington C, Tiedemann A, Yoga-based exercise improves balance and mobility in people aged 60 and over: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Age and Ageing 2016 Jan;45(1):21-29