Fall Prevention Training for Older Adults

Warming Up the Hip Flexors

Warming Up the Hip Flexors

Strenghtening the Core Stabilizers

Strengthening Intrinsic Abdominal Core Stabilizers

Improving the overall health and core stability of older adults will, in most cases, prevent falls and perhaps serious injury. My two certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine—Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) and Senior Fitness Specialist (SFS), provides motivation to specifically help older adults improve their core stability and balance to prevent falls, and perhaps serious injury.

Sixty-six percent of senior citizens fall sometime during their golden years, and 25% of them die within a year of a hip injury from the spill and their subsequent immobile lifestyle. Those who recover develop a fear of falling again that greatly limits their physical and social activities, and their general quality of life is drastically diminished.

Older adults experience physiological changes and degeneration of the neuromuscular  (automatic fall prevention) system, that can lead to loss of coordination resulting in falls or injury. The senior’s slower response speed and ability to process information, in addition to a weak core, are fundamental problems causing inefficient movement leading to predictable patterns of injury.

Research studies conducted in older adult communities and nursing homes found that exercise, including specific core-stabilization training, can reduce the risk of falling by improving physical functioning.

The ability to reduce force at the right joint at the right time, and in the right plane of motion requires optimum levels of balance and neuromuscular efficiency—just what we need to automatically make the corrections to prevent a fall and possible serious injury. Developing our core stabilization and balance through specific training is the primary focus of the Fall Prevention Training.

Without exposure to balance training, inactive older adults are at risk for falls and injury. In addition to preventing falls, balance training reduces the rate of ankle sprains and other lower extremity injuries, and can also assist in the reduction of chronic pain.

Special Offer through August: Complimentary ½ hour Assessment for Risk of Falling, performed in your home or office, or my office.  Share this offer with a friend.  

Call me with your referrals to nursing homes, care facilities, adult communities, etc. to teach fall prevention training techniques.

Treating Shin Splints

Lengthening the Tibialis Posterior muscle

Treating Posteromedial Shin Splints

Posteromedial shin splints (back & inside of shin bone) and anterolateral shin splints  (front & outside of shin bone), is an overuse condition common among runners,  characterized by pain in the lower part of the leg between the knee and the ankle. Ignoring the injury could result in a more serious condition such as a stress fracture. Shin splints affects a broad range of individuals, mostly runners, and accounts for approximately 13% to 17% of all running-related injuries, aerobic dancers as high as 22%, and military personnel undergoing basic training experience 7.9%  

Causes: Shin splints can usually be attributed to overloading the muscles of the lower legs or to biomechanical irregularities. Athletes that begin running a lot after a period of inactivity, increase distance, intensity, and duration too quickly, are at risk by putting excess stress on the muscles. Running uphill, downhill, on uneven terrain, or on hard surfaces fatigues the muscles and tendons as they are unable to absorb the impact of the shock force.

Mobilizing tissue

Releasing the fascia surrounding the tibialis posterior

Risk factors for developing shin splints includes:  Muscle imbalance, hyperpronation and flat feet, which is inward rotation of the foot & ankle so when walking the foot tends to come down on its inside edge, excessive supination, usually with an elevated arch, where the foot rolls outward and comes down on its outside edge,  tight calf muscles, high-impact exercises on hard surfaces, flat feet, running with toes pointing outward, and poor fitness.

Treatment:  Clients are evaluated in the weight bearing or standing position, looking for postural disorders such as excessive supination and hyperpronation. Appropriate muscles, specific to the condition–posteromedial or anterolateral shin splints, are lengthened and strengthened to achieve muscle balance. Muscle resistance testing often isolates the exact problem area if there is a muscle strain, and is treated accordingly.

Treating Soft Tissue Neck Pain

Cervical Traction

Cervical Traction

Myofascial Cervical Stretch

Gentle myofascial stretch of the posterior cervical fascia

Neck (cervical) pain is a common problem; approximately 65% of the population has suffered from it at some point in their lives, and it’s more common in women (5.7%) than men (3.9%). It may come from any of the structures in the neck including: vascular, nerve, airway, digestive, and musculoskeletal

The lower neck and upper back, which supports the head, are areas that commonly cause neck pain. The three top cervical vertebrae allow for most movement of the neck and head. The lower cervical vertebrae and the upper back (thoracic) vertebrae provide a supportive structure for the head to sit on. If this support system is affected adversely, the muscles contract (shorten), and cause neck pain.

Major and severe causes of cervical pain, in general order of severity include: carotid artery dissection, referred pain from acute coronary syndrome, head and neck cancer, infections (retropharyngeal abscess, epiglottitis), spinal disc herniation (protruding or bulging discs), spondylosis (degenerative arthritis), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).

Neck pain may also be caused by numerous other spinal problems, or simply arise due to muscular tightness in both the neck and upper back from stress, or pinching nerves coming from the cervical vertebrae. Common and lesser neck pain causes include: physical and emotional stress, prolonged postures, minor injuries and falls, car accidents, sporting injuries, referred pain from upper back problems, and over-use (muscular strain).

Treatment: Most musculoskeletal cervical pain can be treated conservatively with clinical massage and bodywork, depending on the cause and severity. If a client presenting with neck pain becomes dizzy, nauseous, disoriented, has blurred vision, or feels like he or she is going to pass out, or exhibits any other neurological symptoms, I immediately discontinue treatment, and refer to their orthopedic specialist or neurologist. I will not treat a client for neck pain who has been in a car accident until after they have been first examined by their doctor and had an MRI, bone scan, or x-ray.

After getting the green light from their doctor, we first start by correcting any imbalance in the lumbar and sacral region to assure a stabilized foundation—the pelvis. To determine which muscles are restricting motion and causing pain, the client’s active range of motion is assessed, pain free, in the four primary single plane movements of the cervical spine –flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral flexion.

Basic soft tissue mobilization focuses on balancing the cervical muscles to facilitate better bone alignment. Minor strains and minor sprains of the cervical muscles in the non-acute or chronic phase of this condition are also treated.

Clients are then instructed in home self-care stretching & strengthening techniques tailored to their specific needs. After treatment and a client’s pain has resolved and range of motion improved, home self-care is indispensable (absolutely necessary) to maintain their new pain-free condition and improved range of motion.