In this seasonal blog, we look at the causes and how to prevent holiday injuries.





The holiday season, especially Christmas, sees our streets and homes illuminated with lights, ornaments, and festive cheer. While the merriment is infectious, another side to this joyous occasion is the high rate of holiday-related injuries.





Holiday Injury Statistics





The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.gov) highlights that over 18,000 Americans annually find themselves in the ER due to injuries caused by Christmas decor. In one ten-year span, Christmas decorations sent an alarming 134,281 people to the emergency departments.





What’s the trend in holiday injuries?





Males account for 58% of all holiday injuries. It's interesting to note that men, more frequently than women, were injured while using ladders. This stat hints at men being more involved in hanging higher-placed decorations or less cautious when climbing. Another contributor to holiday injury is slips or falls on ice or muscle strain from shoveling snow.





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It's crucial to be aware of the risk factors to prevent holiday injuries. Especially falls, which lead the charts during this time of year. Let’s take a look at both holiday decorating accidents and weather-related falls.





Decorating Injuries





Making our homes look festive sometimes comes with unexpected costs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that 160 decorating-related injuries happen daily during the holiday season in the U.S. Almost 50% of these accidents are falls resulting in concussions, broken bones, and strained muscles.





To prevent holiday injuries while decorating:






  • Inspect your ladder for any defects.




  • Ensure you're working with others when on a ladder.




  • Follow guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, like moving the ladder's base a foot away from the wall for every four feet of height.





The holidays also mean heavy lifting - from packages to groceries. Heavy lifting can lead to strained backs and necks. A preventive measure is to lift using your legs, not overextending yourself, and ensure that online shopping doesn't strain your neck. (Can looking at your phone or computer cause neck pain? Yes! Read a blog from our resource library.)





It's alarming to read actual cases that require emergency medical attention. Here are just a few tracked by Cannon Law. The law firm researched accidents caused by holiday decorating…is it truth or fiction that Americans are injured while decorating their homes for the holiday season? It's true, and here is a quote: 





“An 83-year-old woman who tripped over a Christmas train, hitting her head on concrete. Other instances include rib fractures from falls while decorating and foot fractures from accidents involving Christmas trees.”





It emphasizes the need for safety and, for those who face injuries, the Importance of Fall Prevention, which can be explored in detail in this blog from The Therapy Network.





Snow and Ice Cause Holiday Injuries





The winter wonderland can quickly turn into a slippery hazard. Holiday celebrations should be free of trips to the hospital due to falls on icy surfaces. Adding to this, the season's euphoria, with a mix of alcohol, fatigue, and boisterous children, can make homes accident-prone, especially on stairs.









Keeping stairs clutter-free, having adequate lighting, and eliminating tripping hazards can significantly prevent holiday injuries. Physical therapy may play a positive role in your recovery if you do fall.





Physical therapy plays a pivotal role after a fall on ice by:






  • Reducing pain through specialized treatments.




  • Restoring lost function and mobility.




  • Educating on fall prevention, ensuring the safety of the individual in icy conditions.





How can physical therapy help in your recovery from a holiday accident? To find out, read about The Therapy Network.





The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia





At The Therapy Network, we prioritize our patients. With six clinics spread across Hampton Roads, we offer flexible timings, accommodating appointments as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m.





Our therapists specialize in their fields, with each clinic boasting McKenzie-trained professionals. Appointments can be made effortlessly, even without a physician's referral, often available on the same day. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit here.





To understand how physical therapy can enhance daily life, especially during the holiday season, look at our blog on Physical Therapy Improving Daily Life.  





Remember, staying informed is the first step to prevent holiday injuries. Stay safe and enjoy the festivities!



Preventing Falls in Adults with Dizziness: How Therapy Network Physical Therapy Can Help





Dizziness is a common complaint among adults, and various underlying conditions, including vestibular disorders, can cause it. While dizziness can be troublesome, it often leads to another severe concern—falling. However, a recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery sheds light on a promising avenue for reducing the risk of falls among individuals with dizziness: timely physical therapy (PT) intervention. In this updated blog post, we'll explore how Therapy Network Physical Therapy can play a vital role in helping adults prevent falls.





dizzy fallen elderly woman being helped up by two women




The Study: Unraveling the Link Between Dizziness and Falls
Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted a cross-sectional study involving 805,454 patients aged 18 years or older who received a new diagnosis of symptomatic dizziness or vestibular disorders. Their goal was to investigate the association between receiving physical therapy and subsequent falls requiring medical care within 12 months of the initial diagnosis.





Key Findings: The Power of Timely PT





The study's findings were both enlightening and encouraging. Here are some of the key takeaways:






  1. Reduced Risk of Falls: Patients who received physical therapy within three months of their initial dizziness diagnosis experienced a significantly reduced risk of falling. The most significant risk reduction occurred within the first three months after PT.




  2. Low PT Utilization: Surprisingly, only 6 percent of the patients in the study received PT within three months of their dizziness diagnosis. This suggests that PT is an underutilized resource in managing dizziness-related falls.




  3. Demographic Differences: The study also identified demographic differences in PT utilization. Women, patients aged 50 to 59, and those with more comorbidities were less likely to receive PT. This highlights the importance of equitable access to PT services.





Therapy Network Physical Therapy: A Key Player in Fall Prevention





Now, let's delve into how Therapy Network Physical Therapy can make a significant impact on preventing falls in adults with dizziness:






  1. Expertise in Vestibular Rehabilitation: Therapy Network Physical Therapy is staffed with skilled physical therapists specializing in vestibular rehabilitation. They have the knowledge and experience to assess and treat individuals with dizziness effectively.




  2. Individualized Treatment Plans: Each patient is unique, and Therapy Network Physical Therapy understands this. They create personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual's specific needs and goals, ensuring that the therapy addresses the root causes of dizziness and balance issues.




  3. Balance and Coordination Training: Physical therapists at Therapy Network are experts in improving balance and coordination. Targeted exercises and therapies can help individuals regain their stability and reduce the risk of falls.




  4. Education and Prevention: Beyond treatment, Therapy Network Physical Therapy focuses on educating patients about fall prevention strategies they can incorporate into their daily lives. This empowerment empowers individuals to take an active role in their own safety.





woman looking a dizzy person fallen at bottom of stairs




If you would like to learn more about Dizziness, Falls and Balance, and more, you can check out the links below:









Conclusion: A Step Toward Preventing Falls with Therapy Network Physical Therapy





Dizziness can be debilitating and, if left untreated, can lead to severe consequences such as falls. However, this study provides hope by demonstrating that timely physical therapy interventions can significantly reduce the risk of falling among individuals with dizziness. By seeking the expertise of Therapy Network Physical Therapy and integrating timely PT into managing dizziness, we can enhance the quality of life for countless individuals and prevent potentially life-altering falls. Together, we can progress towards a safer, healthier future for adults with dizziness.



Did you know that with every passing second, an older adult in the U.S. becomes another statistic, facing a fall that may lead to severe injury or worse?





Fall prevention extends beyond mere statistics; it affects lives and the quality of life for countless individuals, especially our senior citizens.





The leading causes of hospital visits for those aged 65+ are falls, with an astounding 90% of injury-related ER visits attributed to them. The grave figures don't end there. A shocking 95% of hip fractures and many traumatic brain injuries stem from falls.





These stats underscore the paramount importance of fall prevention. But there's hope – with physical therapy's aid, prevention and recovery from fall-induced injuries become a reality.





Keep reading for further information on how The Therapy Network can help you prevent falls in your home.





Most Common Fall Hotspots Around the Home





Knowing where you're most likely to fall is half the battle in fall prevention. Unfortunately, the home, often considered the safest haven, tops the charts as the primary location for falls, especially for older adults.






  • Stairs: Number one risk zone in homes.




  • Bathrooms: Over 23,000 yearly injuries.




  • Gardens: Uneven surfaces can be treacherous.




  • Living Rooms: Often cluttered and overlooked.




  • Driveways and Sidewalks: Cracks and uneven pavements can trip.




  • Bedrooms: Night-time navigation without proper lighting can be hazardous.





As part of your fall prevention plan, download a booklet from the CDC and review the tips for preventing falls in your home.





Gait & Running Analysis




Home Safety: Fall Prevention Tips





Creating a fall-proof environment isn't a Herculean task. We asked the physical therapist at The Therapy Network for some tips for this blog. Here is some actionable advice from the TTN team:






  • De-clutter: Clear hallways, staircases, and rooms of any unnecessary items.




  • Repair Hazards: Address loose carpets, wobbly floorboards, or risky throw rugs.




  • Install Safety Measures: Add grab bars by toilets, handrails in stairways, and nonslip mats in wet zones.




  • Optimum Lighting: Ensure all areas, especially stairways and corridors, are well-lit.




  • Wear Sensible Clothing: Avoid excessively loose clothes that may cause tripping.




  • Shoe Strategy: Wear shoes indoors or opt for nonslip socks.




  • One-Level Living: If feasible, consider living on one level to avoid stairs.




  • Mindful Movement: Always move from sitting to standing with caution, taking a moment to stabilize. A physical therapist can show you the best method to move from sitting to standing.




  • Join Exercise Programs: Engage in exercises that enhance balance and muscle strength. Ask your TTN physical therapist for tips and ideas to improve mobility and flexibility.





How Can The Therapy Network Help?





The prospect of falls shouldn't paralyze you with fear. Instead, arm yourself with preventative measures and guidance from The Therapy Network.





We're never too far with offices in multiple coastal Virginia locations. In 2022, we took a significant leap forward, introducing our specialized Fall Prevention Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Here's the best part: Prevention begins before the accident. At The Therapy Network, we advocate for proactive measures. During your fall prevention visit, anticipate an extensive evaluation:






  • BioSway Testing




  • Berg Testing




  • Tenetti Testing




  • Balance Testing




  • Mobility Testing




  • Vestibular Testing




  • Home Environment Assessment





Begin your fall prevention journey today by scheduling an appointment. Did you know you do not need a physician's referral to schedule a fall prevention appointment at TTN?





Awareness combined with proactive measures can drastically reduce the risks of falls. The Therapy Network is dedicated to empowering everyone with the knowledge and tools needed to make every step safe.





Visit www.TheTherapyNetwork.com for more insights and assistance.