Falls Prevention and Physiotherapy

Life is full of unexpected moments. For many people, an injury from a fall can not only reduce their physically capacity to do things, but also leave them feeling vulnerable and their confidence shaken. In this blog, we outline the things you need to know for falls prevention and physiotherapy, how to bounce back from a fall.

Whether it’s a stumble on a sidewalk or a more serious incident, the journey to recovery after falling over involves a combination of physical healing, a proactive approach to regaining confidence and physical rehabilitation to return to previous function.

Whether you have sustained a fall recently, are caring for someone who is a fall risk or has had a fall, how to manage a fall is integral to promoting a good quality of life.


Risk Factors

Understanding the risk factors for falls is crucial for prevention and ensuring safety.

Age is a significant risk factor, with elderly people experiencing a high risk due to reduced balance and muscle strength.

Environmental hazards like slippery floors, poor lighting, and uneven surfaces can also contribute to the likelihood of a fall.

Medications that affect coordination or blood pressure can increase risks, as can vision impairments that compromise spatial awareness.

A sedentary lifestyle and some health conditions can further exacerbate the situation by weakening muscles and reducing flexibility.

By identifying and addressing these risk factors, individuals at risk of falling can take proactive steps to safeguard themselves against potential falls and maintain their independence and quality of life.


The following is an outline of what to do after having a fall, as well as some ideas about how to prevent falls.

Determine the need for medical attention

Immediately after a fall, it’s crucial to take a moment to assess the situation.

People are often very shaken up and in a temporary episode of shock because of what has happened. At this point in time it is important to identify any injuries that may have been sustained.

If there are signs of serious injury or if you’re unable to get up, seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries may not be very apparent at the time, but you can never be too safe. Medical intervention early can help provide a thorough assessment and will help to identify any underlying issues.

Common injuries that may require immediate attention could be a broken bone or head injuries.

For certain injuries, physiotherapy can be very helpful in identifying what injuries people may have sustained and provide early intervention to accelerate recovery.

Rest and recovery

Recovery often begins with a period of relative rest. Rest allows the body the chance to heal, particularly early on since a fall. Giving your body the opportunity to heal is essential.

After sustaining an injury, you body is more susceptible to re-injury or worsening of other aches and pains.

Each individual will have differing severity of symptoms as well as lifestyle demands. Because of this it is important to seek advice and follow any recommendations from healthcare providers regarding activity restrictions.

Physiotherapy can help people to determine their physical capacity to participate in activities and make appropriate modifications to make tasks easier or more sustainable.

Physiotherapy

For certain injuries, physiotherapy can provide assistance in returning people back to their activities of daily living.

A physiotherapist can conduct an extensive assessment of what injuries people may have and can guide them through the appropriate exercises and stretches that promote healing, improve flexibility, balance and strength.

Manual techniques can also have an added benefit when recovering from injuries. By utilising hands-on treatment techniques, a physiotherapist can help to relieve pain, resolve tightness and muscle imbalances that may have been sustained during the fall. 

A physiotherapist will aim to gradually reintroduce people to their usual levels of activity.

As your body heals, a physiotherapist can help determine the correct steps required to return people to their normal lives.

Whether people need to return to playing sports at an elite level or if they need to be able to get the letters from the mailbox, following a structured therapy plan can significantly accelerate the recovery process.

Fall prevention

Recovering from a fall is not just about returning people back to their previous function, but also preventing falls from happening in the future.

There are many risk factors that contribute to a fall, both personal and environmental risk factors. Perhaps the floor was wet and caused a slip? Maybe there was some underlying leg weakness?

To prevent falls from reoccurring, it is important to first understand why the fall happened.

With a physiotherapist, a comprehensive investigation can help identify fall risks that have contributed to the fall and strategies can be developed to help manage these risks.

Falls prevention and physiotherapy can mean evaluating your living space for a fall risk and make necessary modifications to create a safe environment. It can also help with some form of balance exercise program to aid in improving your stability and confidence.

Taking these steps not only aids in recovery but also reducing falls.

Rebuild confidence after falls occur

Recovering from a fall is a process that encompasses both physical rehabilitation and mental fortitude. It is important to develop mental resilience to match the improvements made in regaining physical capabilities.

An ongoing obstacle many individuals face post-fall is the trepidation of a recurring incident, which can significantly encroach upon their daily activities.

However, by utilising a comprehensive physiotherapy exercise program not only bolsters physical function and mobility but is instrumental in rebuilding self-confidence.


By integrating targeted exercise programs and rehabilitation strategies, physiotherapy aids in diminishing the fear associated with falling, empowering patients to resume their routine tasks with assurance and a reduced level of anxiety.


FAQ’s

How do you help someone who falls?

When assisting someone who has experienced a fall, it’s crucial to remain calm and proceed with caution.

First and foremost, resist the urge to rush the situation. Avoid attempting to lift the person immediately. Instead, carefully assess them for any signs of serious injury. In the event of severe injuries, it’s imperative that you dial emergency services to summon emergency medical services promptly. As you await the arrival of help, your priority should be to ensure the individual’s comfort by keeping them warm and reassured.

If the fallen person feels confident in their ability to stand, support their efforts by strategically placing two sturdy chairs: one for the person to use as an aid while getting up, and another for them to rest in once upright. Remember, safety is paramount; avoid any actions that could exacerbate potential injuries or lead to further complications.

How can physiotherapy help prevent falls?

Falls prevention and physiotherapy go hand in hand by enhancing your balance, strengthening your muscles, and optimising your walking pattern.

By conducting a comprehensive evaluation, a physiotherapist can identify various factors that may heighten your risk of falling. This personalized assessment is designed to empower you with the skills needed to boost your proficiency and assurance in engaging in activities you love.

Additionally, physiotherapists offer expert guidance on mastering safe techniques to get up and down from the floor, equipping you with vital knowledge to manage falls effectively if they occur.

Through a tailored plan, physiotherapy aids in fortifying your independence and confidence, helping to prevent falls, and ensuring you lead a more active and secure lifestyle.

What are 3 guidelines for preventing falls?

To lessen the risk of falls, particularly among older adults, adopting preventive strategies is essential.

Engaging regularly in exercise to enhance balance and muscle strength, meticulous management of medications to avoid side effects that may impair stability, ensuring regular vision checks to correct vision impairments, and implementing safety measures to secure the home environment, are all proven steps towards minimising fall risk.

Fear of falling is a common concern for many seniors, even for those who have never experienced a fall.

By taking these proactive measures, individuals can significantly help in preventing falls, promoting their independence, and maintaining their confidence in navigating their daily lives safely.

What do you do first if a person falls?

In the event of a fall, it’s crucial to remain with the patient while immediately seeking assistance.

Assess the patient’s vital signs, including their breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure levels.

Should the patient be unconscious, exhibit no signs of breathing, or lack a discernible pulse, it’s imperative to initiate an emergency call to medical services and commence CPR if qualified.

Conduct an examination for any potential injuries like lacerations, abrasions, contusions, or fractures.

Ensuring a swift and informed response not only aids in stabilising the patient’s condition but also significantly impacts the recovery process.

What does a physiotherapist do for an individual that has fallen?

Falls prevention and physiotherapy means that individuals can learn safe techniques to stand up from the floor and reduce time spent on the ground.

Targeted strength training can empower people to rise from the floor on their own


If you have any questions or concerns about falls prevention and physiotherapy for yourself or someone else, give us a call on 0298753760.

For more information on how we can help check out our website.

Falls Prevention and Physiotherapy

If you need physical therapy to relieve
your pain, and would like some more
information, feel free to contact us!

Give us a call on (02) 9875 3760 or email
info@wphphysio.com.au. We would
be more than happy to help you.