Navigation Links
Physical Therapists Say Proper Fit and Use of Walkers and Canes Can Prevent Fall-Related Injuries in Elderly
Date:7/10/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is urging elderly adults who use canes and walkers as walking aids to be properly assessed and fitted by a physical therapist to avoid fall-related injuries. This advice comes in response to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (June 2009), which found that 47,000 senior citizens end up in emergency rooms each year due to falls from improper use and fit of walkers and canes.

The study, conducted by government researchers, examined six years of emergency room records and found that the walker was associated seven times more with injury-related falls than was the cane. Physical therapists advise that these results indicate a strong need for proper fit and assessment.

According to physical therapist and APTA member Cathy Ciolek, PT, DPT, GCS, many patients often borrow walking aids from friends and family, which can result in injuries. "We see many patients use borrowed canes, walkers, and crutches without adjusting the fit and height appropriately, which can cause discomfort and result in further injury," she said.

In addition to providing a proper fit, your physical therapist can assess your individual needs to ensure you are using the proper walking aid and that it is in proper working condition. "In some instances a cane may not be the safest option, and it would be best to use a walker. Your physical therapist can help make that decision," says Ciolek. She provides some general tips for those using a cane or walker as a walking aid:

  • The walker or cane should be about the height of your wrists when your arms are at your sides.
  • When using a walker, your arms should be slightly bent when holding on, but you shouldn't have to bend forward at the waist to reach it.
  • Periodically check the rubber tips at the bottom of the cane or walker. Be sure to replace them if they are uneven or worn through.

As experts in restoring motion and mobility in people's lives, physical therapists work collaboratively with physicians to ensure safe recoveries from illness or injury. Ciolek recommends seeing a physical therapist for an assessment and proper fit or asking for a referral to a physical therapist from your physician. Visit www.moveforwardpt.com to find a physical therapist near you.

Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility -- in many cases without expensive surgery or the side effects of prescription medications. APTA represents more than 72,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Its purpose is to improve the health and quality of life of individuals through the advancement of physical therapist practice, education, and research. In most states, patients can make an appointment directly with a physical therapist, without a physician referral. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Physical Therapy Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. National Association for Sport and Physical Education Partners with S&S Worldwide to Help Improve Childrens Fitness
2. Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers Set to Launch This Fall
3. Cognitive Activities Protect Against Alzheimers -- Social and Physical Activities Not Enough
4. Physical Therapist Provides Injury Analysis for Fantasy Football
5. Empowerment Program Gets Patients on the PATH to Managing the Physical and Emotional Effects of Psoriatic Arthritis
6. This October, the American Physical Therapy Associations National Physical Therapy Month to Focus on Nations Obesity Epidemic
7. New study likely to fuel debate over annual physical exams
8. Blue Cross of California and the California Governors Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Launch Live Like a Champion Tour
9. The Cooper Institutes FITNESSGRAM Selected as Statewide Physical Fitness Assessment Tool
10. The impact of physical activity on weight-bearing knee joint
11. The Physical Therapy Profession Remains in High Demand
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of ... one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder in the U.S. ... providers. The iaedp Foundation meets this challenge by offering what has become the leading ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Park Systems , ... Luncheon for all SEMICONWest attendees and Park customers on July 11, 2017 ... from Dr. Sang-il Park, Chairman & CEO of Park Systems, and Prof. Krishna ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... assistance and financial consultations to communities in northern Virginia and DC, is announcing ... help provide for patients with Alzheimer’s and other disorders that lead to memory ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... PA and London UK (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... applying to a clinical study is whether they can trust the sponsor to pay ... it is vital that sponsors and CROs establish payment strategies that encourage sites to ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... Building on the success of the ... sixth state to pass legislation which ensures that children can possess and use ... the states of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Utah and Washington who have also approved ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/13/2017)... Ind. , June 13, 2017 Zimmer Biomet ... musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug ... dated June 3, 2015 relating to its Zhejiang, ... "The successful clearance of the ... manufacturing facility is a measure of the progress ...
(Date:6/10/2017)... June 9, 2017  Shane K. Burchfield, DPM, is recognized by ... as a Podiatrist in Alabama . ... First Foot Care. He brings over 20 years of experience, as ... and healthcare, to his role. ... PC is pleased to welcome you to his practice," ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... 8, 2017  Less than a month ago, amateur ... 200,000 companies, including hospital networks, in over 150 countries. ... of the largest online extortion attempts ever recorded. With ... it is imperative that providers understand where the risks ... this — and many other very real cyber threats.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: