The importance of geriatric physiotherapy in the prevention of falls and concomitant injuries of the spine
Due to demographic issues, world population tends to age gradually. Physiological deterioration over time can lead to decreased balance capacity and increased risk of falls in old age. Frailty syndrome is therefore defined as the age-related reduction of multiple physiological processes and functions, with a negative impact on multiple areas of health such as disability, injury, various diseases, hospitalizations, falls and mortality, affecting the spine directly and indirectly.
Prevention of falls among the elderly is therefore imperative for healthcare systems. Interventions such as resistance training, balance training, endurance training, coordination training, combination exercises (ie, simultaneous strength, endurance and balance training) as well as Tai-chi, have yielded beneficial results in some functional parameters.
Recent technological developments have also led to the introduction of new virtual reality-based practice methods for performing different tasks. There is evidence that falls can be prevented by screening for risk factors and prescribing custom interventions. Determining the type of exercise intervention that is safest, most effective and most easily applicable would greatly assist clinical physiotherapists and caregivers in making informed decisions about which interventions to perform, always depending on the given clinical goals and budgets restrictions.
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