Fall injuries are very common. Injuries resulting from falls represent a significant public health problem throughout the world. It was estimated during 2006/2007, the total cost of health care associated with falls injuries in the older people in NSW was over $550 Mill. The United States Centre of Disease Control and Prevention identified that just less that 1000 hip fractures from falls occur per day.
Falls are an ominous yet very real part of life for people over 65 and many falls can be prevented once the causes are determined
Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls.
Among older adults (those 65 or older), fall injuries are the leading cause of injury death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
Fall injuries are a common cause of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
The aging process involves declining function of a number of physiological systems which support balance. Such systems include Visual system (detail and contrast of objects), Muscular system, Kinaesthetic or Sensory system and Vestibular or Balance system. An accurate measure and detection of falls risk should assess the status of all physiologically related factors.
Clinical examination utilising force platform tests can provide an effective and valid measure of prevention and early identification of falls risk. This is a modern approach to quantitatively assess apparent balance problems.