KEEPING SENIORS ON THEIR FEET Balance Therapy Treats Fear of Falling in Elderly
August 11, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health NewsSANTA MONICA, CA - A recently developed medical treatment known as Balance Therapy is helping seniors with imbalance and fear of falling. First used by ear, nose, and throat doctors, a computer-assisted system called Fall Trak diagnoses dizziness and then a medical professional prescribes a treatment and recovery plan. The modern approach to this age-old problem offers seniors a new and much welcomed alternative to having to rely on a cane or walker.
“What most people aren’t aware of is that fear of falling and loss of balance is treatable,” said Alex Kaliakin, D.C. director of Clinicare in Santa Monica.
Clinicare is one of the few medical groups in Santa Monica set up to provide Balance Therapy for seniors. The Fall Trak equipment that makes Balance Therapy possible has only recently become affordable enough for smaller clinics to implement into their practice. Kaliakin is optimistic about the revolutionary approach to treating balance problems.
“Clinicare’s goal is to teach patients to recover from imbalance and dizziness through proper training and rehabilitation,” continued Kaliakin, “we know how difficult it can be to live with a fear of falling and we know that this fear can be debilitating.”
Recent statistics show that if a person over the age of 75 falls, they have a 50% chance of dying within 12 months. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths for Americans over the age of 65. They account for over 70% of accidental deaths for people over the age of 75 and are the leading cause of doctor visits, hospital admissions, and Emergency Room visits. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the annual cost of fall injuries incurred by the elderly is well over $20 billion and is estimated to increase to $32 billion in the next 20 years if no efforts are made to address the problem.
The Balance Therapy assessment protocols are designed to quantify a patient’s ability to maintain balance when standing. While the patient stands on the platform, data from sensors are collected. The data is then processed to compute a “Standard Limit of Stability” of the patient. The information is then used to produce a printable report assessing the patient, which is then used for a therapy plan and rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation consists of vestibular therapy, otherwise known as balance therapy, which is an exercise program designed by specially trained therapists to help a person compensate for a loss or imbalance within the vestibular system. The vestibular system, or balance system is the sensory system that provides the dominant input about our movement and orientation in space.
Alex Kaliakin, D.C. is a Los Angeles native who completed his undergraduate studies at California State University, Northridge in 1977. He graduated the Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles and graduated in 1980 with honors-Summa Cum Laude and class Valedictorian. He has been in private practice since 1981. His practice interest includes surfing medicine and he lives in Malibu with his wife Pearl and their son, Kristofor.
For more information contact Clinicare at 310-829-2225 or visit www.clinicaresantamonica.com.