Research studies carried out among the elderly through the years have shown significantly more falls resulting in serious injuries, due to problems with balance. Implementing balance testing and providing foot orthoses’s for elderly patients could prove to potentially decrease the amount of falls and injuries associative with them.
With the inclusion of specific balance testing such as the ‘tandem stance test,’ and the ‘tandem gait test’ specialists in orthopedic care can provide a better means of assisting their elderly patients with improving balance, thus minimizing serious bodily injury from falls. Dr. Michael T. Gross said that, “clinicians should consider asking older patients about their balance, and have them perform simple one leg balance tests.” This alone will help in determining specific balance problems, and earlier evaluations for the possible need of foot otrhoses’s, which could prevent accidental falls before they happen. The varied participant studies have proven that foot orthoses’s which are designed for each individual patient’s needs work to improve their own balance defects.
While the studies have been small thus far, and the results “preliminary,” Dr. Gross says that, “It’s important to note that we examined and addressed individual foot issues.” Therefore, these basic tests are detrimental in patient care, because they allow for individual structural differences in gait and balance for each patient’s orthoses design. Not every patient needs corrective features, or something like arch support, and these basic tests can help determine what will provide the most improvement for each and every patient orthopedic specialists have come in.
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