The effect of reactive balance training on falls in daily life: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood info

Key Points

  1. The ability to recover from a loss of balance is an essential skill needed to prevent falls.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Maintaining balance requires sustaining postures, moving between positions, and reacting to a loss of balance. When an individual cannot recover from a loss of balance, they experience a fall. Thus, it is not surprising that balance training (referred to as reactive balance training [RBT], where individuals must react to a balance perturbation and prevent a fall), can decrease an older adult’s risk for falls.

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of RBT on falls in daily life in people at increased risk of falls by comparing it with either no or an active non-RBT control intervention. A secondary objective was to determine if there is an increased prevalence of adverse events with RBT compared to other exercises.

When an individual cannot recover from a loss of balance, they experience a fall.
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When reactive balance training is utilized without adverse events, physical therapists can reduce an older adult’s likelihood of falling.

METHODS

Design: Systematic Review.

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