Your body’s ability to maintain balance allows you to walk without problems. Your sense of balance enables you to negotiate uneven ground, correct for tripping over objects, and many other daily activities often taken for granted. The ability to balance depends on three main components, including: sensation from joints and muscles, the inner ear, and vision. As we age, our reflexes slow down slightly. This makes it difficult to adapt to difficult terrain such as grass, cracked pavement, steps, and stairs. In addition, poor posture, weakness in the hips, and poor eyesight can all contribute to poor balance.
Most people don’t realize that they have decreased balance until it is too late and they fall. Falls are the number one cause of death from injury in the US and also cause millions of fractures and injuries each year. Most of this can be prevented with the right physical therapy treatments.
Dizziness can be caused by a variety of conditions, but typically occurs from poor perception in the joints and muscles combined with visual tracking problems and inner ear coordination. When the brain receives all these mixed signals, it becomes confused and dizziness occurs. Vertigo is a spinning sensation that typically occurs because of problems between the visual tracking and balance systems in the inner ear.
Physical therapy plays a crucial role in resolving dizziness and vertigo. By performing several specific, gentle treatments, physical therapists can help you feel more in control. In some cases, instant results can occur when procedures such as the Epley maneuver are performed. In other cases, balance and coordination training diminish the symptoms and allow you to move without dizziness or vertigo.
We evaluate your leg strength, movement, balance reflexes, and much more to determine exactly where your balance problem lies. We then formulate a complete treatment plan that will improve your balance and teach you what you can do to maintain the improvement.
Come in today for a free balance and fall prevention screening with one of our physical therapists! For more information, Contact us at Elkhorn, Omaha & Fremont, NE centers.