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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Keeping it All in Balance: October is Physical Therapy Month

Fully recovered from Hurricane Irma, the Medical Center is ready to remind our patients that October is Physical Therapy Month! The Medical Center will offer balance evaluations and classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week starting October 17.
When thinking about the need for physical therapy it’s not just about an orthopedic injury. Consider the importance of muscle strengthening, supervised conditioning exercise and working on the ability to correctly maintain balance.

“The majority of our patients, regardless of their decade in life, need to have an assessment of their risk for falls and know what their balance skills are,” said Christine Langley, Cert. MDT, Physical Therapist at the Medical Center. Langley is pictured at right with Physical Therapist Assistant Miguel Gonzalez, PTA, ATC, CSCS.

The Physical Therapy department’s Biodex Balance System SD is a perfect tool for our patients. It is used for balance testing and training, and assists patients with hip and knee replacements and back problems. After an initial balance assessment, therapists are able to retrain patients to balance properly, helping them avoid additional back and lower extremity problems and decrease the risk of falling.

Patients are able to monitor their progress on the Biodex system by viewing a monitor and receiving a printout that shows their progress, helping them achieve their goals. They will know if they are getting better and what they need to do to improve from visit to visit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • One out of three adults age 65 and over falls each year, but less than one-half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
  • Falls are the leading cause of death by injury in adults over 65. They are also the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.

Normal balance is controlled by a complex combination of visual, muscular and neurologic systems. We frequently don’t realize that we aren’t putting equal weight on one leg vs. the other. Strength is a critical factor for reacting quickly to a balance disturbance; for example, a cobblestone road that is uneven to walk upon. As we age our gait typically can become slower. Steps may be shorter or vary in length, or there may be more of a tendency to not lift our footsteps as high as when we were younger. All of these factors can increase your risk of falling.

Exercise and proper training can help you learn to walk more safely and confidently. The Medical Center’s physical therapists are trained professionals who can assess your muscular strength, gait and balance. If you have any of these concerns, we hope you will call us for an appointment to learn how we can be of service. To schedule a balance evaluation appointment, please contact Pam Zimmerman via email or by calling 305-367-6702.


The Medical Center at Ocean Reef
50 Barracuda Lane
Key Largo, FL  33037

Main Phone: 305-367-2600
Fax Number: 305-367-4573
General email: