Conditions We Treat
What is Balance Problems
Problems with your balance and having one or more falls become more common over the age of 50.
There are three main reasons why older people are more likely to fall. They are:
- Chronic health conditions, like heart disease, dementia and low blood pressure (hypotension), which can cause dizziness;
- Poor vision or muscle weakness;
- Illnesses that can affect balance, such as labyrinthitis (inflammation of the delicate balance regulating parts of the ear)
Chronic health problems can sometimes cause loss of balance, fainting, or a sudden feeling of dizziness, all of which can cause falls.
Normal changes to our bodies as we age also make falls more likely including decreased vision or muscle weakness.
Older people can have weaker muscles, stiffer joints, or may lose some of the feeling in their feet and legs. They can also be a bit slower to react which can contribute to falling.
Some common reasons for falling or slipping include:
- Wet or slippery floors, like in a bathroom
- Places that are dark or have low light
- Rugs or carpets that move under your feet
- Climbing on stools or reaching for cupboards
- Getting up and down stairs and curbs
Another common cause of falls is falling from a ladder while doing jobs around the house
NB – For people who have osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of the bones), falling can be particularly dangerous and may cause broken bone/s.
When you book an appointment with a physiotherapist from The Physio Co to get help with your Balance Problems & Falls, the first appointment will involve your physiotherapist asking questions about you, your general health, your future goals and the symptoms of your arthritis.
They will also likely ask you to show them how you move parts of your body under their instruction so they can properly assess and understand the problem.
It’s likely the physiotherapist will also gently feel and move the injured part of your body too.
After the first 1-2 appointments, once you and your physiotherapist have discussed the likely cause of the problem, the treatment needed and the likely time it will take to improve, you will receive a 1-page plan of what will happen next.
That plan will be a short, tailored and personal plan for you describing the recommended treatment and next steps.
Your plan will likely involve 4-12 weeks of treatment before it is reviewed, reassessed and considered if a new plan or updated plan is needed.
It’s super-important that you read, understand and follow your plan. If you have any questions, please ask your physiotherapist as soon as you can
The treatment your physio recommends will depend on what is affected and any pain.
There is no way of knowing exactly which treatment will work best for you. You will likely need to trial a few different treatments before finding the one that works for you.
When the plan is complete, we will review it together and decide what comes next.