Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls

Worrying about slips, trips, and falls this winter?

Stop living in fear.

Slick surfaces present challenges to mobility, but there are ways to equip yourself for safely navigating icy terrain.

Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls

In the video below, Physical Therapist Steve Gonser PT DPT explains the causes of slips, trips, and falls and shows you three simple exercises to help improve your balance.

Why Slips, Trips, and Falls Happen

Slips, trips, and falls happen because of both physical and nonphysical factors.

Physical factors include balance and strength, or a lack thereof. Nonphysical factors include things like medications, proper hydration, or outside factors that can affect one’s mobility.

To overcome physical factors, like balance and mobility, building strength through exercise is key.

Single Leg Balance

A single leg balance is a great place to start improving your leg strength.

With your hands on your hips or holding your support, lift one leg up and hold, balancing on your other leg. Repeat on the other side.

As you’re getting started, instinct may tell you to hold your hands out like you’re walking a tightrope.

While your arms are important for balance, when you start to trip or fall you want to recover using strength from your lower body. While practicing your single leg balance, try to keep your hands on your hips or across your body.

Depending on where you’re at in your balance cycle, a single leg balance may be easy or hard. Either way, always practice safety first. If needed, stand in front of a counter or some other type of support.

slips, trips, and falls

Walking and Sidestep Balance

Once you’re comfortable with the single leg balance, a walking balance is a great exercise to continue building both strength and confidence.

Start by putting your hands on your hips. Take a step, bring one leg up, and balance.

Don’t rush.

Every step you take you should pause and hold your balance for a few seconds.

Do this for 20 steps on each side.

A sidestep is another great variation to this walking balance exercise.

With your hands still on your hips, take a sidestep, pause, and balance for a few seconds before putting your foot down.

Continue sidestepping for 20 steps in both direction.

If you’re concerned with falling, make these simple exercises part of your daily routine. They’re great for individuals who already struggle with mobility, but also for those individuals who are concerned with slipping, tripping, or falling as they age.

Want Help Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls?

If you want a more personalized approach to improving your strength and balance and for prevening slips, trips, and falls, our Physical and Occupational Therapists can help.

Treatment is covered by insurance, no referral is required, and with flexible appointments, you can find an appointment fast that works with your schedule.

Call (716) 412-0871 or go here to schedule online at one of 12 locations throughout Western New York.

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