Whitesburg KY

Tips to prevent falls this winter

As temperatures dip and snow falls over the next couple of months, the staff at the Whitesburg ARH Rehabilitation Department say a few simple preventative measures can help ensure you donÕt become one of the many people injured during falls this winter.

Prevention can be the key to avoiding a fall:

• Prepare in advance for bad weather such as picking up groceries or supplies the day before the inclement weather is predicted.

• Pre-treat your sidewalks and walkways with salt.

• Reschedule errands for a date after the snow and ice clears.

There are risk factors for falls other than the weather. These risk factors include:

• Being older

• Difficulty with walking and balance

• Poor vision

• Leg or lower body weakness

• Medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke or diabetes

• Being on multiple medications

• Use of a walker, cane or crutches

• A history of falls.

A physical therapist can help you prevent falls by designing an individualized program for you. After reviewing your medical history and completing a physical examination, physical therapists can recommend specific strengthening and balance exercises based on your deficits. Balance may be improved with exercises that strengthen your hips, knees and ankles and/or your vestibular (balance) system.

For more information, call the Whitesburg ARH Rehab Department at 633- 3554.

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