Fall recovery: the different ways physiotherapy can help

Reasons to see a physiotherapist after a bad fall

Falls send thousands of Canadians to emergency rooms every year. Slips and trips aren’t innocent, especially if you’re feeling pain afterwards. 

If you’ve fallen recently, you may have seriously hurt yourself.

The key to coming back from a fall is a strong fall recovery plan. With a physiotherapist by your side, you can start recovering from a fall in no time. You’ll be able to regain movement, reduce pain, and more.

Keep reading to find out how physiotherapy could help you with fall recovery.

Fast facts about falls

Falling is more common than you may think. You could slip on a wet surface or trip over an object.

You don’t have to be unbalanced to take a serious fall. Anyone at any age can hurt themselves from falling.

These falls are becoming more and more common. In fact, injury-related hospitalisations for seniors due to falls have increased by 9% in the past three years. This is the largest increase that we’ve seen in senior hospitalisations.

Additionally, four out of five injury-related hospitalisations involve older seniors. However, this still leaves one in five individuals of lesser ages becoming hospitalised from these kinds of accidents.

With these considerations, scientists have ranked falls as the number one cause for injury-related hospitalisations. So, if you’ve taken a bad fall recently, you’re not alone.

To read more about how to stay safe, check out these fall prevention and fall recovery tips.

Benefits of physiotherapy for fall recovery

Recovering from a fall can take a long time depending on how badly you were injured. Without professional help, your recovery could take years longer. Depending on your injuries, you may never fully recover without a physical therapy plan.

All of this sounds scary, but it’s true. You need to seriously think about getting help from a physiotherapist if you’re having mobility issues. No matter what your age is, you can benefit greatly from hiring and working with a physical therapy specialist.

Increase or regain mobility

After you take a nasty fall, it’s unlikely that you’re going to want to exercise or move at all. Many patients resist doing these movements, causing their condition to worsen over time.

Movement is great for the body, especially when it needs to recover from a physical injury. It may sound counterintuitive, but getting some movement can help you regain the muscle strength that you need to improve your mobility.

With the help of a physiotherapist, you can discover the right kinds of exercises that you need to be doing to help your body recover. Depending on the kinds of injuries that you sustained, you’re going to want to practice different kinds of movements to regain and improve mobility.

Your physical therapy expert can help you get enough movement in without overdoing it. Plus, they can help you track and note the progress that you’re making along the way.

Overall, getting physical therapy after a fall is a great way to ease the stiffness in your joints and muscles. By doing these exercises over time, you’ll be able to increase your mobility. Thus, you may be able to decrease your fall risk in the future.

Reduce pain

Pain is one of the worst parts of falling. Depending on your injuries, your pain could be temporary or last forever. Some people never fully recover from their falls, leading to a life of chronic pain.

Physiotherapy can change this.

One of the biggest contributors to pain is stiffness. As we just discussed, an effective physical therapy regimen can get rid of or reduce stiffness in the joints and muscles. However, this may not be the first thing that your physiotherapist works on.

Often, physical therapy specialists focus on reducing inflammation first. Inflammation is an immune response that your body elicits after you hurt yourself. It’s great for healing, but it can cause some unwanted symptoms and side effects.

To get rid of the inflammation, your physiotherapist may recommend massage therapy, hot or cold therapy, or slower movements during physical therapy. The recommendation will depend on your condition and complaints.

Your physiotherapist can help you make the best decision for your health.

Heal and restore function

One of the most common injuries that occur with falls is hip fractures. These fractures can resolve with surgery, but you may never regain complete function of that hip without physiotherapy.

By starting physical therapy soon after the fall, the patient can return to the independent life that they had before the fall.

Future fall prevention

If you take one fall, you’re more likely to take another. With the help of a physiotherapist, you can prevent future falls.

By focusing on specific exercises, your physiotherapist can help you build muscles that can help you improve balance, enhance coordination, and build strength. Overall, you’ll be less likely to take another fall, meaning that you’ll be less likely to hurt yourself while falling.

Help you trust your own body again

Many people who fall have problems trusting their bodies afterwards. The fear of falling can prevent people from doing the things that they enjoy doing.

A physical therapist can provide the emotional support that patients need to trust their own bodies again. While they work through the physical therapy plan, physiotherapists can show patients how their bodies have improved and worked for them. This helps patients regain trust over time.

What you can expect from a physiotherapy appointment

At your physical therapy appointment, the physiotherapist is going to start with an assessment of your current strength and pain levels. From there, they’re going to help you craft a specific exercise program that can help you recover from your injuries.

They’ll also discuss things that you can do at home to aid with your recovery in between appointments.

Make an appointment with a physiotherapist today

If you’re ready to start your fall recovery program, you should make an appointment with a physiotherapist. This is one of the best ways to get walking again without the fear of falling.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’re going to start seeing the results that you want.

Michael McCreight, Registered Physiotherapist

Mike is an experienced and talented physiotherapist who holds a BSc in human kinetics and an MSc in physiotherapy. He doesn't believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach and is committed to providing client-centred care, tailoring each treatment plan to each patient’s unique needs and personal goals.

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