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  • Writer's pictureNashville PT

Fix Your Balance


3 people balancing on a post on the beach


Have you ever experienced a moment of unsteadiness, feeling like you might lose your balance? Or perhaps you've noticed that your balance isn't as good as it used to be. Balance plays a crucial role in our daily lives, allowing us to perform activities with stability and confidence. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of balance, common causes of balance problems, and how physical therapy can help you regain your stability. So, let's dive in and discover how you can fix your balance.


Understanding Balance


Balance is the ability to maintain the body's center of mass within its base of support. It involves the coordination of multiple systems, including the inner ear (vestibular system), visual system, and proprioceptive system (sensations from muscles and joints). These systems work together to provide us with a sense of where we are in space and enable us to stay upright and steady.



Causes of Balance Problems


1. Aging:

As we age, changes in our sensory systems and muscles can affect our balance. Reduced strength, flexibility, and slower reaction times can contribute to balance issues.


2. Inner Ear Disorders:

Conditions affecting the inner ear, such as Ménière's disease or vestibular neuritis, can disrupt the vestibular system and lead to dizziness and balance problems.


3. Musculoskeletal Conditions:

Musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis, muscle weakness, or joint stiffness can affect your balance by altering your ability to move and maintain stability.


4. Neurological Conditions:

Certain neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease or stroke, can impact the body's control of balance and coordination.


5. Medications:

Some medications can cause dizziness or affect balance as a side effect, increasing the risk of falls.


How Can Physical Therapy Help?


Physical therapy plays a crucial role in addressing balance problems and helping you regain stability. Here's how physical therapy can assist you in fixing your balance:


1. Assessment:

A physical therapist will perform a comprehensive evaluation to identify the underlying causes of your balance issues. They will assess your strength, flexibility, coordination, sensory systems, and identify any deficits.


2. Customized Treatment Plan:

Based on the assessment findings, your physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan may include exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as activities to enhance proprioception and coordination.


3. Vestibular Rehabilitation:

If your balance problems are related to inner ear disorders, your physical therapist may incorporate vestibular rehabilitation exercises. These exercises focus on retraining the vestibular system and improving its function.


4. Fall Prevention Strategies:

Physical therapists are experts in fall prevention. They can educate you on strategies to reduce the risk of falls, such as home modifications, assistive devices, and techniques for improving safety and awareness.


5. Home Exercise Program:

Your physical therapist will provide you with a home exercise program to continue your progress outside of therapy sessions. Consistency is key in improving your balance, so following the prescribed exercises is essential.


Seeking the Right Treatment


If you're experiencing balance problems or have concerns about your stability, it's important to seek the expertise of a physical therapist. They can assess your condition, identify the underlying causes, and develop a targeted treatment plan to address your specific needs. Don't let balance issues hold you back from enjoying an active and independent life.


Regain your stability, boost your confidence, and fix your balance with the help of a physical therapist. Take the first step towards improving your balance and overall quality of life.


Call or text us at 615-428-9213 to schedule or book online at www.nashvillept.com



References

1. American Physical Therapy Association. Balance Problems. https://www.choosept.com/symptomsconditionsdetail/physical-therapy-guide-to-balance-problems. Accessed October 10, 2022.

2. Horak FB, Wrisley DM, Frank J. The Balance Evaluation Systems Test (BESTest) to Differentiate Balance Deficits. Phys Ther. 2009;89(5):484-498. doi:10.2522/ptj.20080083.

3. Jeka JJ, Allison LK, Saffer M, Zhang Y, Carver S. Sensory reweighting with translational visual stimuli in young and older adults: The role of state anxiety. Exp Brain Res. 2006;174(3):517-527. doi:10.1007/s00221-006-0507-y.

4. Maki BE, McIlroy WE. Control of rapid limb movements for balance recovery: Age-related changes and implications for fall prevention. Age Ageing. 2006;35(suppl_2):ii12-ii18. doi:10.1093/ageing/afl077.

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