Otago Exercise Program To Reduce Falls

During the 2016 Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Fall Conference, we were approached by a few therapists asking if PT-Helper included Otago exercises. At the time, we were not aware of Otago and decided that we needed to find out more. A quick online search revealed that the Otago Exercise Program is an evidence-based program developed in New Zealand to reduce falls among older adults.

The Carolina Geriatric Education Center at the UNC School of Medicine has been training physical therapists to use the Otago Exercise Program resulting in a 35-40% fall reduction rate.

Every year, as many as 1/3rd of all older adults will suffer a fall. Reducing these fall rates with a progressive prevention program can save serious injury and many other complications.

PT-Helper has added Otago exercises to its database for therapists to prescribe to their patients. The exercises can be quickly found by searching for “Otago” in the Add Exercise page or duplicating the global Otago Exercise template into your local CONNECT template.

For older adults with significant balance concerns, you may want to recommend that they do their balance exercises with their hand over the kitchen sink providing them with an easy mechanism to grasp the edge should they loose balance. Dr. Stephen Kanter PT, DPT, ATC of the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice recommends this safety approach to his neuromotor patients.

Sign up for the FREE 30-day trial for CONNECT exercise prescription service, it’s only $20/month with unlimited number of patients after the free trial. Sign up here today.

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