Mobility and Falling

“Mobility and freely being able to move in and out of one’s home and community is a fundamental activity of daily living and wellbeing.” 

Mobility is not just being able to walk independently, it is about being able to  move without restriction or fear of  dependency on others. When we address mobility, we address your body’s ability to move, but also what solution we can offer to give you as much independence as possible. Whether you walk without a mobility aid, use a cane, crutches, walker, or wheelchair – you can be independent in functional mobility with the right interventions and commitment. 


When should you be concerned about your mobility and chronic falling?

Functional mobility is an essential activity for daily living (ADL). When you are having trouble moving around independently, you may begin to experience decreased balance, increased forgetfulness, feeling a like you don’t want to go out as much, increased aches and pains, or feelings like you become winded more easily. All of these symptoms eventually lead to chronic falling – and it is directed correlated to your level of mobility!

Warning signs that should prompt you to seek a mobility assessment and outpatient therapy:

  • You are tripping more often 
  • You have had an increase of ‘near miss’ falls
  • You are falling more frequently 
  • You have an increased difficulty getting out of bed, up from your chair, out of your car, or off of your toilet
  • You become tired quickly after walking a short distance
  • When you walk, you find they you ‘veer’ off from a straight line without realizing what you are doing
  • You begin walking with slumped shoulder and a wider base because you are fearful of falling 
  • You become dizzy or unstable when walking 
  • Standing up or sitting down quickly makes you dizzy

Some reasons why your mobility may be a problem:

  • You may have a muscle imbalance
  • Your visual perceptual skills may not be in sync with your brain-muscle communication.
  • Your brain’s ability to communicate with your muscles, or certain muscles, and joints may have slowed down.
  • You may be experiencing generalized weakness throughout your body and require a full-body ‘tune-up’.
  • Your body’s ability to understand where it is in space and adapt to various movements may be impaired.
  • You may be experiencing a new stage in your progressive diagnoses like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple Sclerosis.
  • You may require a mobility aid for safety and stability.

Mobility and falling - man on ground - upper body neuromuscular massage- Buffalo Occupational Therapy - Experts in Rehab - Neurological Rehabilitation

Problems We Help

Buffalo Occupational Therapy offers services for adults 18+ who have been impacted by a recent diagnosis, injury, surgery, chronic illness, ailment causing generalized weakness, recent hospitalization and much more. From the comprehensive evaluation to our maintenance program that ensures maximum results have been achieved, Buffalo Occupational Therapy is the exception to rehabilitation.

Other Specialized

Areas of Practice

Upper Body and Lower Body Rehabilitation

In order to be functional experts, occupational therapists are fully trained in human anatomy- both upper body and lower body rehabilitation strategies and techniques. This allows us to address upper body and lower body diagnoses, posture, balance deficits, and more. We use various treatment methods such as exercises, stretching, training in body mechanics, massage and manipulation, endurance and stamina activities, stair climbing, walking training, and modalities such as e-stim, vibration, cold, and heat. 

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation helps you get back to doing what you love and find meaningful. If you have recently experienced a traumatic medical event, been given a diagnoses affecting your livelihood, or have a loved one needing support and training to enter the work-field for the first time, Buffalo Occupational Therapy can provide vocational rehabilitation for a reasonable cost. 

Geriatric Rehabilitation

Current research has revealed the human body goes through enough changes over the age 65 to demand a unique approach to medicine and rehabilitation. Buffalo Occupational Therapy uses a Neuro Therapeutic approach partnered with their knowledge of human development to treat older adults through Geriatric Rehabilitation. 

Neurological Rehabilitation

Neurological Rehabilitation uses a variety of techniques and methods to promote neuroplasticity, neuronal re-patterning, and return of function to enhance daily living. It is used to help those who have  been diagnosed with Neuro-related illness, like Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, or Multiple Sclerosis,  suffered a stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury.

Kinesiology Taping

Buffalo Occupational Therapy is specialized in applying kinesiology taping techniques to the skin in order to enhance neural plasticity, support recovery, offer joint support, reduce chronic pain, decrease nerve pain,  and help correct muscle imbalances.

Adaptive and Durable Medical Equipment

Buffalo Occupational Therapy offers specialized advice on appropriate adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment for aging  in place as well as maximizing independence when living with a progressive disease or chronic illness. Offering low-cost options to address your concerns is something we pride ourselves on, and if we can't offer you a solution, we will find someone who can! 

Functional Rehabilitation

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Environment and Home Assessments

Ensuring your personal physical environment and home environment is accessible and safe is just one area of occupational therapy practice. Buffalo Occupational Therapy is specialized in assessing your physical symptoms and needs and applying this information to creating a livable environment both now and throughout the course of your diagnosis. Occupational therapists seek to maximize independence to keep you living in the place of your choice.

Cognitive Therapy and Dual Tasking

Buffalo Occupational Therapy has a special focus in neuroanatomy and what each area of the brain controls in terms of information processing, functional performance, and executing gross mobility. Where many other practices only work on mobility or only work on cognition, Buffalo OT is the only practice in Western New York, addressing both needs in one plan of care. Dual tasking and cognitive therapy is an area BOT feels very confident in addressing as we have seen amazing therapy outcomes. 

 Muscles and Bones

Your rehab specialist is well-versed in upper body and lower body function. We understand how muscles and bones are designed to heal and can, therefore, use our vast knowledge of the human body and it’s systems to decrease muscle imbalances, help you become stronger and more flexible, and increase your upper and lower body joint stability.

Neurological Perspective

Neurocentric rehabilitation specialists understand the importance of starting at the source of movement and strength in order to yield the greatest and quickest results. We use many neurological-based therapy techniques such as neuromuscular re-education to increase your balance, standing tolerance, and joint stability.

Therapeutic Exercise and Therapeutic Activity

In our outpatient rehabilitation studio, we use many different techniques, strategies, tools, exercises and activities to increase balance, dynamic standing, and joint stability. Some tools and equipment we use are agility ladders, aerobic steppers, tandem walking surfaces, free weights, theraband, bosu balls, manual therapy, modalities, and much more! Doesn’t sound like occupational therapy? Read more about our hybrid approach to outpatient rehabilitation!

‘Real-Life’ Activities or Occupation-based Interventions

Occupation-based interventions are the most functional-based approach to rehabilitation. When you are invested in the activity and understand why you are doing something, your brain’s ability to heal and re-learn motor patterns improves exponentially! Occupational therapists are functional rehabilitation specialists which means we are experts in translating physical strategies into functional activities! We understand that performing a sit-to-stand in the studio is much different than getting up from your favorite recliner chair! Likewise, re-learning how to move your arm or walk in the studio is much different than feeling confident entering your home or moving about the community! Buffalo Occupational Therapy always bridges this gap and includes these real-life elements as part of our outpatient rehabilitation process!

  • Ensure you are given a comprehensive evaluation by your therapist! It should include objective assessments, a work-up of upper and lower body strength and range of motion, a screen for reaction time and coordination, a cognition screen to ensure your memory has not been affected by decreased mobility, and a conversation or perceptual screen regarding your fear associated with falling.
  • Commit yourself to at least 6-8 weeks of outpatient therapy after discussing the plan with your therapist. Improvement takes time! You can’t improve without commitment to a plan. True rehabilitation in mobility requires a commitment to a total-body approach. Results will and do comebut it takes the fully committed energy of both you and your therapist!
  • Follow the Home Exercises Program (HEP) given by your therapist which will include exercises and stretches to promote balance, standing tolerance, and joint stability!
  • If you live alone and have not had your house assessed, a home assessment is highly recommended. In this home assessment, a therapy practitioner will walk through your home and recommend way to increase safety, accessibility, and decrease potential fallings risks. A home assessment also allows the therapy practitioner to give you information of various pieces of adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment that may increase the liveability of your physical environment!

Are you facing a specific diagnosis or condition effecting your functional performance?

Check out some examples of  conditions we treat through outpatient rehabilitation! 

Why choose Buffalo Occupational Therapy?

Buffalo Occupational Therapy works with you one-on-one to create a treatment plan that will meet your needs, accomplish your desired outcomes, and restore your hope in recovery.          

Buffalo Occupational Therapy practitioners are committed to maintaining current competencies, meeting monthly continuing education goals,  and being well-versed in the latest evidence-based, research-driven treatment models in order to offer you the best treatment possible. 

Specialized occupational therapy practitioners are accessible to their patients, invested in producing treatment plans that will produce results, maximize time spent, and offer you hope for recovery. 

Buffalo Occupational Therapy is currently the first and only  Neuro-centered adult outpatient occupational therapy practice specializing in neurological rehabilitation, functional performance, and rehabilitation for older adults.       

Helpful Page Definititions

Muscle Imbalance

Your body is complex and should be working synergistically with all of its parts. When some muscles have become weaker while others remain strong, an imbalance occurs which causes decrease balance, standing tolerance, and joint stability. 

Activities of Daily Living

Occupational therapists are trained in occupations and activity analysis. An occupation is an activity that you believe is important to your life. There are many levels of occupations, but activities of daily living (ADLs) are the most personal activities and are usually the ones people find most important if they were to lose the ability to complete them.  

ADLs include:

  • Bathing and showering
  • Getting dressed
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Walking and getting up and down from a chair or car
  • Eating and swallowing
  • Feeding 
  • Sexual activity 
  • Personal hygiene and grooming
  • Being able to use personal care devices like adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment 
Visual Perception

We incorporate visual perceptual elements into many treatments to enhance perception, balance, safety, cognition, memory, recall and neural excitation. Some areas of visual perception include form constancy, visual discrimination, figure-ground perception, visual closure, visual memory, and visual sequential memory.

Mobility Aid

As occupational therapists, we can assess functional movement and recommend adaptive equipment as well as durable medical equipment that will enhance your community mobility. Before we can make any recommendations, we must assess your ability to move and determine how you are walking and holding your posture, if you are presenting with muscle imbalances, the status of your upper body and lower body range of motion and flexibility deficits and finally, determine the status of your muscle stamina. After we complete this assessment, we can help you decide what mobility aid would be most appropriate for you, if any.

Types of mobility aids include cane (single point, quad cane, tripod cane), crutches, knee scooter, cane-crutch combination, walkers (4 wheeled walker, 2 wheeled walker, standard walker), walker-cane hybrid, hemi-walker, gait trainer, scooters, wheelchairs and more. 

We will help decide what device would be most appropriate, help with positioning, and then train you on best practices to maximize your mobility! 

Neuromuscular Re-education

NMRE is used by neurocentric occupational therapists to improve communication between your muscular system and nervous system. By promoting this stream of communication, you close the circle of recovery. Without NMRE, you can have the biggest muscles in the world and still experience mobility deficits due to poor reaction time, coordination, and mixed signals. 

Comprehensive Evaluation

Occupational therapists treat the entire person. Much like your primary care physician, we were required to learn elements of the entire body so that we could treat holistically (a one stop shop). Because of this, your outpatient rehabilitation specialist will perform an evaluation that assesses the following things: 

  • Personal history
    • Who are you? What do you do? What makes you tick? Why are you seeking outpatient therapy?
  • Physical function (upper body and lower body)
    • Strength, range of motion, and flexibility 
  • Neuromuscular function (brain to muscle communication)
    • Coordination, speed, agility, and reaction time 
  • Cognitive and Mind health
    • Short term memory, recall, information processing, and perception of illness 
  • Occupational Inventory (Activity and role inventory)
    • Roles you play like a caregiver, spouse, parent, employee, etc. 
    • Mobility inventory like the places you need to go 
    • IADL inventory and what activities are required for you to be independent 
    • Other activities that are important to you