Safe fall landing strategies (SFLS) have shown promise to decrease injury during falls but have been examined primarily in young, healthy populations. There is emerging evidence to suggest SFLS can be safe and effective for a geriatric population; however, this intervention has not been examined in a clinical physical therapist practice setting. This case study seeks to determine how SFLS can be incorporated into a physical therapy program with a geriatric population.
A 77-year-old woman reported imbalance and inability to return to her previous active lifestyle. Multiple SFLS were implemented during the course of physical therapist management. Controlled fall heights were gradually progressed over the course of therapy.
Gains in Patient Specific Functional Scale score (initial score = 2.5, discharge score = 8), static balance, and ability to perform floor-to-waist lifting were seen following physical therapist intervention that included SFLS. The patient was able to perform a back fall and a front fall from a standing position and reported no adverse side effects throughout the course of physical therapy care.
This case report demonstrates how SFLS were safely and pragmatically progressed for one patient in a clinical physical therapy setting. SFLS may have the potential to improve patient outcomes and even decrease the risks associated with falls, though further evaluation is needed.
This case report introduces SFLS as an emerging intervention in the clinical physical therapist practice setting. This case report should encourage future research needed to assess the effectiveness and safety of this treatment strategy in physical therapy.

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