Many of us take balance for granted thanks to how our body usually takes care of it without us having to think much about it. However, some people can experience issues with the coordination between their eyes, muscles, and inner ear, leading to balance issues. Inadequate balance can interfere with our personal and professional life, all the way to basic everyday activities like walking or climbing up the stairs.
Common symptoms of balance disorders include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty standing up
- Feeling disoriented
Balance disorders can happen for a variety of reasons and getting a medical diagnosis can help rule out certain conditions and get to the root of your problem. Any condition that can affect your nervous system such as seizures, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease, can impact your balance abilities. Other possible causes include certain cardiovascular issues, whiplash, or Meniere’s disease.
Seeking medical attention can help prevent your risk of injuries, especially if you fall and are more prone to strains and fractures due to your age or physical condition. Balance training can restore your physical function with targeted exercises.
What Are the Goals of Balance Training?
You can work through balance training with a physical therapist depending on your specific needs.
Balance training helps:
- Build strength in your core, arms, legs, and back muscles
- Prevent falls
- Improve your gait
- Increase mobility and coordination
- Learn how to use assistive equipment
- Regain steadiness while sitting, standing, and walking
It can help you regain autonomy and give you peace of mind as your physical abilities develop during your program. You can engage safely in everyday activities and improve your quality of life. Balance training can help individuals of all ages, but it can often help seniors whose balance may decrease due to age and emerging health issues.
Types of Balance Training Exercises
Your provider usually begins with a comprehensive balance assessment to check your:
- Tactile perception
- Inner ear function
- Musculoskeletal function
Balance training can involve in-office exercises and at-home routines that your physical therapist demonstrates to make sure that you do them safely between visits. This type of therapy is typically low-impact, and the difficulty of each exercise depends on your abilities, health, and goals.
As you progress through your program, your provider can gradually modify each exercise, remove some and add new ones, to support your recovery. Making sure that you can properly adjust and safely perform each exercise is central to lasting improvement.
Your care plan can include static, semi-static, and dynamic exercises like:
- Standing on various surfaces
- Putting your weight on one leg at a time
- Walking with alternative knee lifts
- Standing up or sitting down with or without using support
- Holding an acquired position for a longer time
- Do a previous exercise while closing your eyes
Combining Balance Training with Other Physical Therapy Components
Balance training may be the primary focus of your physical therapy protocol or your provider may combine it with other types of exercises to help you achieve your goals.
In addition to your balance training, your care plan may include:
- Posture training
- Vestibular therapy
- Concussion therapy
- Gait training
- Graston Technique
- Strengthening exercises
At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we focus on customized treatment plans because every patient’s situation is unique. Generic physical therapy cannot fully address your needs and our priorities are your safety and health.
During your initial consultation, you can expect a careful review of your medical history, a physical examination, and questions about your current diagnosis and/or symptoms. Once we understand your balance issues and know whether you need treatment for other concerns, we can design a therapy program for you.
We believe in empowering our patients and our staff members spend time educating you on your current health limitations and every aspect of your treatment plan.
If you need personalized physical therapy for balance issues in Monmouth or Middlesex Counties, call ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 or use our online form to schedule an appointment!