PT Offers Fall Risk and Concussion Screenings

Falls are the number one cause of injury in people over 65.  Massena Memorial Hospital’s Physical Therapy Department takes fall prevention seriously, and wants to help reduce the number of falls our patients and community members sustain.
Physical Therapy offers fall risk screenings and comprehensive fall risk assessments, along with straightforward intervention programs which include exercise therapy and patient education.  This combination has been proven to reduce the occurrence of accidental falls in seniors.
The screenings are performed at health fairs, senior centers etc, and in a physician’s office upon request.  Eileen Fregoe, PT, Director of Physical Therapy and Rehab Services explained, the screening takes only a few minutes and are non-intimidating, non-invasive and may identify potential problems which can be prevented with proper physical therapy interventions.
The screening is done with the PT Department’s Equilibrate Balance Engineering equipment. The screening can be used for fall risk assessments, balance, concussion testing and orthopedic knee patients. Fregoe said it is also used for therapy modules depending on the results of the screening.
More comprehensive assessments can be scheduled at the hospital, and use a computer analyzed assessment of not only lower body function, but upper body postural control to identify specific areas of concern. 
Treatments and follow up assessments utilize the same piece of equipment and can provide you with easily interpreted graphic data analysis of your patient’s progress.
Concussion Management is another screening that can be used for athletes. Fregoe explained an initial assessment would be done on the athlete prior to the season to help determine a baseline, then can be used in concern of a concussion and when to return to the game.
MMH Physical Therapy Department is the only PT in the North Country offering this screening for all ages. The Department was able to purchase the Equilibrate with proceeds from the MMH Foundation Radiothon last year.
Eileen Fregoe, PT Director, attended the Norwood/Norfolk Community Health Fair on March 14 to demonstrate the equilibrate balance system and performed a balance screening. The equipment is portable, so it can be used to for health fairs or to the high school gyms for team concussion baselines.
At the health fair, eighteen screenings were performed.  Of the 18 screenings, 4 people were identified with potential problems and all 4 requested that the results be sent to their physicians.
For more information about the Fall Risk Assessment or Physical Therapy, please call 315-769-4336.

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