Screen Readers Skip to Content

The Fear of Falling

Published: 2010-05-14
Author: Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

Synopsis: Gait disturbance is defined as unsteadiness during walking that is worse than the normal slowing of old age.

Main Digest

One in four people over the age of 70 suffers from gait disturbance.

Related

To prevent falls, specific treatment should be given. In the current issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International, Klaus Jahn and colleagues describe methods of differential diagnosis and therapy (Dtsch Arztebl Int 107[17]: 306-16).

Gait disturbance is defined as unsteadiness during walking that is worse than the normal slowing of old age. It often has multiple causes; in elderly patients, fear is often a precipitating or aggravating factor. A vicious circle often arises in which fear of falling leads to avoidance of movement, and in turn to reduced fitness, lower confidence in one's own balance, increased fear, and increased danger of a fall. Depression and a markedly impaired quality of life can result.

In order for the treatment to be as effective as possible, the type of gait disturbance and its causes must be precisely analyzed. In their article, Jahn et al. present effective diagnostic methods. For example, the observation of parameters such as step length, speed, body posture, and variability while the patient walks a given distance, once with eyes open and once with eyes closed, enables classification of the type of gait disturbance.

Fear of Falling and Gait Disturbance - www.aerzteblatt.de/v4/archiv/pdf.aspid=74599

In Other News:

You're reading Disabled World. See our homepage for informative disability news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disclaimer: Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.


Cite This Page (APA): Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. (2010, May 14). The Fear of Falling. Disabled World. Retrieved September 18, 2021 from www.disabled-world.com/health/aging/falling.php