top of page

Fall Prevention and Balance Disorders 

Fall Risk Evaluation and Prevention  

Falls are a significant concern, especially among older adults, as they can lead to serious injuries and a decline in overall health. Fortunately, physical therapists play a crucial role in fall prevention by assessing risk factors, designing personalized exercise programs, and improving balance, strength, and mobility to reduce the likelihood of falls. This informational page aims to highlight the essential aspects of fall prevention with the help of a physical therapist. 

The Role of a Physical Therapist: 

  1. Comprehensive Fall Risk Assessment: A physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation of an individual's balance, gait, strength, flexibility, and overall mobility. This assessment helps identify specific risk factors and areas that require improvement. 

  2. Personalized Exercise Programs: Based on the assessment, the physical therapist will create a personalized exercise program tailored to the individual's needs and abilities. These exercises may include strength training, flexibility exercises, balance activities, and functional movements. 

  3. Gait and Balance Training: By working on gait and balance, physical therapists can help individuals improve their stability and reduce the risk of stumbling or falling. Various exercises and techniques can be employed to achieve this goal. 

  4. Educating and Raising Awareness: Physical therapists will educate individuals and their families about fall prevention strategies, including proper footwear, using assistive devices, and understanding the effects of medications on balance. 

  5. Reviewing Medications: Some medications can affect balance and increase fall risk. Physical therapists may collaborate with other healthcare professionals to review medications and make appropriate adjustments, if necessary. 

  6. Assistive Devices: When appropriate, physical therapists can recommend and provide training in the use of assistive devices such as canes or walkers to improve stability and confidence while walking. 

Tips for Fall Prevention: 

  1. Stay Active: Engage in regular physical activity to maintain strength, balance, and flexibility. Your physical therapist will suggest suitable exercises based on your health status. 

  2. Remove Hazards: Clear walkways of clutter and ensure proper lighting in all areas to reduce the risk of tripping and falling. 

  3. Proper Footwear: Wear well-fitting, non-slip footwear that provides adequate support. 

  4. Review Vision and Hearing: Regularly check your vision and hearing to ensure they are optimal for safe navigation. 

  5. Be Cautious with Transitions: Take extra care when moving from sitting to standing or changing positions to avoid dizziness. 

  6. Use Handrails: Utilize handrails when going up or down stairs, and be mindful of uneven surfaces. 

  7. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can affect balance, so make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. 


Preventing falls is essential to maintain independence and overall well-being, especially for older adults. Working with a physical therapist can significantly reduce fall risk by addressing individual limitations, improving balance and strength, and making necessary environmental adjustments. By following fall prevention strategies and incorporating recommended exercises, individuals can enhance their safety and reduce the likelihood of falls, leading to a better quality of life. If you or someone you know is at risk of falls, consult a physical therapist to create a personalized fall prevention plan. 

bottom of page