Balance Therapy Program
Falls are often a worry for seniors and others who have physical challenges and those worries aren’t unfounded. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and serious health problems in the U.S. However, at Fyzical, we can improve your balance and reduce your fall risk through:
- Improving your walking skills
- Teaching techniques to prevent losses of balance
- Teaching strategies to optimize balance recovery
- Improving negotiation of curbs and other obstacles
At FYZICAL Shady Grove, we help you master these skills to decrease your risk of injury, while at the same time increasing your confidence and independence.
What are the benefits of balance and gait training?
Balance and gait are inextricably linked because they tend to impact one another. Even if you don’t think you’re in danger of falling over, that “running out of steam” while walking that you’re attributing to aging muscles could be something else. The problem might actually be slowing reflexes, which make moving around seem more strenuous than it is. By the same token, poor posture, neuropathy and gait abnormalities can throw off those reflexes.
In fact, the balance and gait systems both rely to some extent on a complex number of body systems that include the inner ear, the eyes, the joint-muscle-nerve system, and of course cognitive functions. Therapy that improves gait and balance works with all of these systems to keep them functioning in harmony.
Gait and balance training programs have 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 also more likely to feel confident with your footing and return to activities you have been avoiding for many years.
What does balance and gait training entail?
We will evaluate your gait, functional strength and endurance and determine if your balance systems (the somatosensory, visual and vestibular systems) are communicating with each other effectively and determine potential problems with your gait pattern, strength, sensory organization and posture. Through this evaluation, we are able to tailor a specific treatment program to optimize your safety and function outside of physical therapy.
During therapy, we will challenge and improve your balance through:
- Correcting your gait
- Improving your stability on unstable surfaces
- Improving your utilization of hip and ankle strategies
- Improving your muscular, cardio and pulmonary strength and endurance
- Improving the strength of the visual and vestibular system
- Increasing body and spatial awareness
Following completion of your balance program, you will have regained confidence in navigating challenging terrains and learning how to avoid dizzy spells. You may even be able to leave that cane or walker behind!