Falls are a leading cause of injury-relate deaths for seniors in the United States. They can be a constant worry anyone with balance challenges, especially if you have fallen before. This fear of falling due to poor balance has been shown to decreased your ability to perform your daily activites, lower your overall quality of life - and actually INCREASE your risk for falling in the future.
Physical therapy can help you improve your balance and your walking skills (technically known as your “gait”). At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers we help you master these skills you need to decrease your risk of injury and improve your confidence and independence.
What are the benefits of balance and gait training?
Your balance and gait are linked together because of the way they impact each other. Poor balance will obviously make walking and moving around harder, while walking impairments will make it harder to stay balanced. Even if you don't feel like you're in danger of falling over, "running out of steam" while walking can still put you at risk for falls.
The balance and gait systems both rely on a number of complex and interrelated body systems that include the inner ear, the eyes, the nervous system, and overall cognitive functions. Strength and flexibility are also crucial to safe and efficient movement. Balance therapy works with all of these systems to keep them functioning in harmony.
Gait and balance training has a range of benefits, with avoiding injuries being at the top of the list. Beyond lessening your chances of falling or feeling dizzy, you’re can look forward to feeling more confident in your footing and more secure in your independence.
What does balance and gait training entail?
First, we'll assess your strength and flexibility - the baseline of any kind of movement. Then, we will use several tests to look at the functioning of your different body systems that contribute to balance. We'll also watch you walk to evaluate your gait. These measures will help us determine what your customized therapy routine will focus on.
If weakness is contributing to your balance problems, we may work on strength and flexibility exercises. These can be as simple as leg lifts while seated in a chair, or as complex as needed for your goals. We may also have you practice standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or tracking the movement of your thumb with your eyes as you move it in various positions.
At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, our therapists realize how important balance and walking is for independent living, as well as for work activities, exercise, sports and enjoying life in general.
Ready to “balance” your life again?
With our dedicated team of physical therapists behind you, you’ll regain confidence in doing the things that are important to you. You may even be able to leave that cane or walker behind!