Here’s some health advice for any seniors who are afraid of injuring themselves: get some balance training. Researchers at the Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, Spain, have conducted a clinical trial and found that this type of training could successfully help older adults avoid fall-related injuries.
Seniors injured in falls has become a hot topic in health news of late. Falls account for an astonishingly high number of broken bones and other health complications. Hip fractures have proven to be particular troublesome in older populations, as they can lead to hospitalization and long-term disability.
For these reasons, the Spanish research team explored the results of a balance training program in 40 institutionalized older people who had a fear of falling or were at risk of falling.
One group of participants completed a 12-week balancing/rebalancing training program called the “Biodex Balance System.” They did this training program two times per week. Another group acted as control. During the training period, participants in both groups received the same multidisciplinary care (such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing) that they usually received in the nursing home.
The research team analyzed fear of falling by using a standard questionnaire. They also analyzed balance (by conducting a “Fall Risk Test”) and strength (by testing torque of knee flexor and extensor). These measures were taken before and after the training program.
The research team found that, compared to the control group, the exercise group had significantly greater improvements at 12 weeks in fear of falling, in balance, and in strength of the knee flexors and knee extensors. They concluded that the training program was feasible and effective in reducing fear of falling and improving balance and strength in institutionalized older people.
Get your doctor’s advice about balance training if you find you or someone you know is unsteady on their feet and worried about fall-related injuries. For more advice about how to prevent falls as you age, follow this link: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/anti-aging/seniors-protect-yourself-by-preventing-falls.