Balance Therapy

Balance Therapy

Balance Therapy

Falls are a leading cause of injury-related deaths for seniors in the United States. They can be a constant worry to anyone with balance challenges, especially if you have fallen before. Not only does poor balance make it difficult for you to perform certain daily activities, and lower your overall quality of life - but poor balance-confidence has been shown to increase your risk of falling in the future.
There are many reasons why balance problems occur. One common reason is that leg strength and mobility often decreases as we age. Without good overall leg strength and mobility, you may not be able to get into the best positions to avoid a fall and you may also lack the strength you need to catch yourself should a loss of balance occur.

How does balance work?

There are three primary systems that work together in order to keep ourselves in balance:

our vision, which we use to orient ourselves to the environment and make predictions about how to balance

our sense of touch, or more specifically, knowing where our bodies are in space (known as proprioception), which helps us to sense the ground and external environment as we walk and allows us to know what are bodies are doing when we are moving.

our inner ear, or the vestibular system, which helps us align ourselves with gravity, and also senses head motion and acceleration.

If any of these three systems are not working properly, this can result in poor balance. Often, even if the systems are working properly, but the brain starts to have difficulty paying attention or utilizing the information from one or more systems appropriately, this can result in a balance problem known as a sensory integration deficit.

Other factors that can affect you balance include changes blood pressure, side-effects from sometimes necessary medications, complications from stroke or other neurological disorders that affect how you move or perceive the world, and even how well you slept. Balance is complex!

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!