OTAGO Fall Prevention

Don’t let a fear of falling keep you from being active.

The good news is that there are clinically proven ways to prevent most falls and we can help.

A collaborative effort between your doctor and our physical therapy team can make a difference.

It Starts with a Thorough Evaluation

Physical therapy starts with a thorough evaluation of your health & fall risk factors. We will then set up on on a personalized prevention program to address the findings we identify during your initial visit.

Evaluation and Treatment May Involve One or More of the Following:

  • Strength testing
  • Flexibility testing
  • Walking (gait) patterns
  • Your health history
  • Sight and hearing screenings
  • Blood pressure
  • Assistive/adaptive device use & education
  • Footwear recommendations
  • Review of your medications & side effects along with your physician
  • Strength training
  • Balance training
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Visual exercises
  • Functional exercises
  • Weight-bearing exercises
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Risk reduction/modification education
  • A personalized home program

The Otago Exercise Program

One of the most evidence-based and effective treatment methods we offer to reduce fall risks is the Otago Exercise Program. This program was developed by Professors John Campbell, MD, FRACP, and Clare Robertson, Ph.D., researchers at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and the New Zealand Falls Prevention Research Group, in response to the frequency and severity of fall injuries among older adults in New Zealand. It is a muscle strengthening and balance retraining program delivered at home by a physical therapist with Otago training through a minimum of seven home visits as well as monthly phone calls when there is not at home visit over the course of a year.

Otago has been shown to reduce falls by 35 percent among high-risk individuals. It was most effective for adults 80 years of age or older, who have fallen within the last year, and who have moderate to severely decreased strength and balance due to multiple risk factors including arthritis, de-conditioning, and inactivity. It improves both strength and balance—two of the most readily modifiable risk factors for falls.

Although tested as a stand-alone fall prevention intervention, the Otago Exercise Program could also be delivered as part of a multifactorial falls prevention program.

Everyone is different so treatment programs will vary. The best thing you can do is contact our office and schedule an initial evaluation for balance treatment & our fall prevention program. In most cases, insurance will cover it.


  1. Tools to Implement the Otago Exercise Program: A Program to Reduce Falls - First Edition

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