Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly

physical therapy balance exercises for elderly 2
photograph physical therapy balance exercises for elderly 2

Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly

Exercise: Exercises to Try Balance Exercises To get all of the benefits of physical activity, try all four types of exercise — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. This page addresses balance exercises. Important for Fall Prevention Click for more informationEach year, more than one-third of people age 65 or older fall. Falls and fall-related injuries, such as hip fracture, can have a serious impact on an older person’s life. If you fall, it could limit your activities or make it impossible to live independently. Balance exercises, along with certain strength exercises, can help prevent falls by improving your ability to control and maintain your body’s position, whether you are moving or still. Balance Exercises to TryThese 5 exercises that are shown below are aimed at improving your balance and your lower body strength. They include standing on one foot walking heel to toe balance walk back leg raises side leg raises Anywhere, AnytimeYou can do balance exercises almost anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like, as long as you have something sturdy nearby to hold on to if you become unsteady. In the beginning, using a chair or the wall for support will help you work on your balance safely. Balance exercises overlap with the lower body strength exercises, which also can improve your balance. Do the strength exercises — back leg raises, side leg raises, and hip extensions — two or more days per week, but not on any two days in a row. Safety Tips Have a sturdy chair or a person nearby to hold on to if you feel unsteady. Talk with your doctor if you are unsure about doing a particular exercise. Modify as You Progress Click for more informationThe exercises which follow can improve your balance even more if you modify them as you progress. Start by holding on to a sturdy chair for support. To challenge yourself, try holding on to the chair with only one hand; then with time, you can try holding on with only one finger, then no hands. If you are steady on your feet, try doing the exercise with your eyes closed. Balance Exercise – Standing on One Foot Click for more informationImprove your balance by standing on one foot. Stand on one foot behind a sturdy chair, holding on for balance. Hold position for up to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Repeat 10 to 15 times with other leg. Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each leg. Watch a video showing how standing on one foot is done. (After watching it, click on the back button to return to this page.) Balance Exercise – Walking Heel to Toe Click for more informationImprove your balance by walking heel to toe. Position the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of the other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk. Take a step. Put your heel just in front of the toe of your other foot. Repeat for 20 steps. Watch a video showing how walking heel to toe is done. (After watching it, click on the back button to return to this page.) Balance Exercise – Balance Walk Click for more informationImprove your balance with the balance walk. Raise arms to sides, shoulder height. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk. Walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other. As you walk, lift your back leg. Pause for 1 second before stepping forward. Repeat for 20 steps, alternating legs. Watch a video showing how a balance walk is done. (After watching it, click on the back button to return to this page.) Strength Exercise – Back Leg Raises Click for more informationStrengthen your buttocks and lower back with back leg raises. Stand behind a sturdy chair, holding on for balance. Breathe in slowly. Breathe out and slowly lift one leg straight back without bending your knee or pointing your toes. Try not to lean forward. The leg you are standing on should be slightly bent. Hold position for 1 second. Breathe in as you slowly lower your leg. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Repeat 10 to 15 times with other leg. Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each leg. Watch a video showing how a back leg raise is done. (After watching it, click on the back button to return to this page.) Strength Exercise – Side Leg Raises Click for more informationStrengthen your hips, thighs, and buttocks with side leg raises. Stand behind a sturdy chair with feet slightly apart, holding on for balance. Breathe in slowly. Breathe out and slowly lift one leg out to the side. Keep your back straight and your toes facing forward. The leg you are standing on should be slightly bent. Hold position for 1 second. Breathe in as you slowly lower your leg. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Repeat 10 to 15 times with other leg. Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each leg. Watch a video showing how a side leg raise is done. (After watching it, click on the back button to return to this page.)

Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly

Slide show: Balance exercises Previous Next 1 of 5 Balance exercises Balance exercises can help you maintain your balance — and confidence — at any age. If you’re an older adult, balance exercises are especially important because they can help you prevent falls and maintain your independence. Nearly any activity that keeps you on your feet and moving, such as walking, can help you maintain good balance. But specific exercises designed to enhance your balance are beneficial to include in your daily routine and can help to improve your stability. For example, balance on one foot while you’re standing for a period of time at home or when you’re out and about. Or, stand up from a seated position without using your hands. Tai chi is a form of movement training that has been found to improve balance and stability and reduce the incidence of falls. If you have severe balance problems or an orthopedic condition, get your doctor’s OK before doing balance exercises. Balance exercises Weight shifts Single-leg balance Bicep curls with a dumbbell Tai chi
physical therapy balance exercises for elderly 2

Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly

Real Life Experiences Margaret is a 70-year-old retiree. She and her husband have lived in the same house for 30 years. Margaret is as active around the house as ever, taking care of all the household cleaning and maintenance, growing vegetables in her garden, cooking, and tackling light landscaping. One night recently, Margaret tried to close the bathroom window when it turned chilly outside. She didn’t bother to switch on the bathroom light. In order to reach the window, she had to step into the tub with her right foot. She found that she had to push harder on the stubborn window, and lifted her left leg to place it in the tub. The next thing she recalled was explosive pain in her ribs. She realized that she was on her side, sprawled half in and half out of the tub. She did not recall falling. Her husband got her to the doctor. Margaret’s doctor x-rayed her ribs, shoulder, and toe, and found no broken bones. He instructed Margaret on how to care for her many bruises. He bandaged a torn toenail on her right foot, and told Margaret that she would not be able to wear a closed-toe shoe for awhile. When her doctor asked Margaret if she had fallen before, she admitted that she had lost her balance while going upstairs recently. She admitted that she felt more off-balance in the dark. Margaret also mentioned that she and her husband attended ballroom dancing sessions each week, and joked that she never could learn to “spot a turn.” The physician, knowing that the dancer technique of “spotting a turn” requires inner ear and vision function, recommended that Margaret consult with her eye doctor, and her physical therapist. Margaret met with her eye doctor and got her vision prescription updated; she noted that she felt somewhat more balanced with proper eyeglasses. She then met with her physical therapist. Margaret’s physical therapist took her medical history and performed a full battery of tests, assessing Margaret’s muscle strength, balance, body-position sense (proprioception), eye-tracking ability, and inner ear (vestibular) function. She noted Margaret’s bruises from her fall. In addition, she found that Margaret lacked the ability to keep her eyes focused on an object while turning her head, and that her balance was severely affected when her eyes were closed. She asked what Margaret’s personal goals were for therapy; Margaret said she wanted to avoid falling, return to her normal vigorous household activities, and attend her ballroom dance sessions 3 times per week. Margaret’s treatment began with simple eye-tracking exercises, and moved on to standing and walking balance exercises. Her physical therapist then added specific strengthening exercises to the routine. She also performed hands-on therapy, somewhat like massage, to increase the healing speed of the shoulder and rib muscles that were bruised and strained. She also applied electrical stimulation and cold packs to those areas to reduce swelling and pain. Margaret continued her physical therapy sessions for 4 weeks, increasing her exercises as her strength returned. She learned about fall-proofing her home, including installing night lights in the bathrooms, and about wearing proper footwear. At the end of her treatment program, Margaret was able to return to all her household tasks, and maintain a home-based exercise program designed by her physical therapist. She reported that she felt much more confident about maintaining her balance, even at night. She and her husband returned to ballroom dancing—and she was able to gently “spot a turn” for the first time in her life! Back to Top

Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly

Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly
Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly
Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly
Physical Therapy Balance Exercises For Elderly

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