St. Lukes Rehab offers free balance screening October 28

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, October 21, 2010

October is designated as National Physical Therapy Month.&bsp; Physical therapists evaluate and treat patients with injury, disease or impairment. Their goal is twofold ensure patients return to optimal function and prevent future impairments.

In recognition of Physical Therapy Month, St. Lukes Outpatient Rehab will offer a Fall Risk Screening and Conditioning Program using the Biodex Balance SD System on Thursday, October 28, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. This system enables the rehabilitation team at St. Lukes Hospital to perform balance testing and identify fall risk candidates, determine ankle and knee status, and determine limits of stability. This system also provides balance training including stabilization exercises and weight shift exercises and activities.

St. Lukes says it sees many patients because of fall-related injuries. Falls and fall related injuries seriously affect older adults quality of life. They also cause painful debilitating injuries for older adults. With the Biodex Balance SD System, St. Lukes Rehab therapists can identify and modify the factors that lead to falls among older adults.

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Certain people are at high risk for accidental falls and should be regularly screened to help reduce the high number of fall-related injuries and deaths in the United States, a new guideline says.

People need to know that falls are preventable, and there are simple tests to determine if youre at risk of falling, Scott McDermott, director of rehabilitation services said. Its important to discuss falls, since some people can face serious life consequences after falling.&bsp; These include disability and loss of independence which may be averted only through fall prevention.

Physical therapy is the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of disability, injury, and disease using physical, mechanical, and chemical treatments, explains McDermott. Treatment may include ultrasound, massage, therapeutic activities, joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise and neuromuscular re-education.

The primary goal of physical therapy is to relieve pain and to restore optimal movement and function. Specific physical therapy objectives can include:

Minimize pain and swelling;

Promote healing;

Restore joint range of motion;

Increase muscle strength and endurance;

Decrease muscle spasm;

Increase coordination and function;

Correct gait and postural deviations;

Patient and family education.

St. Lukes Hospitals physical therapists can treat a wide variety of problems from non-surgical to surgical, including: joint replacements (hips, knees, shoulders); neck and back injuries; shoulder problems (fractures, surgeries, rotator cuff tears, tendonitis); muscle sprains and strains; gait and balance safety training to restore independence; neurological problems such as strokes and Parkinsons Disease.

For more information about the benefits of physical therapy or to schedule a free balance screening, call 828-894-8419. St. Lukes Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Center is located at 799B West Mills Street in Columbus.