Balance Therapy

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Balance Therapy

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and serious health problems in the U.S., resulting in fear of movement for many seniors and those with musculoskeletal impairments.

Improving your walking skills — technically known as your “gait” — and your balance are interrelated challenges. At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers 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?

Changes in balance are often undetected until falls or near falls begin occuring.  For many people, vestibular dysfunction begins long before that.  Compensations frequently occur during tasks such as stair climbing and putting pants on to avoid challenges to the balance systems.  Gait patterns often change by reducing speed, trunk rotation,or arm swing. The ability to weight shift equally between the right and left foot, as well as from the big toe to the heel is often decreased.  Musculoskeletal pain can occur as a result of these compensatory strategies, leading to unnecessary strain on joints, ligaments, and tendons.  In the same token, musculoskeletal injuries, even from long ago, can also lead to decreased gait and balance strategies.

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 has 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. In addition, those aches and pains are likely to decrease as well.

What does balance and gait training entail?

First, we’ll evaluate your gait to determine potential problems with strength and posture. Simple movements to test balance are also part of the assessment. Together, these basic evaluations point us in the direction of what to focus on in terms of therapy.

Decreased efficiency of hip and ankle musculature often leads to balance problems, as does lack of variation in our posture. Strength and flexibility movements can help counteract these problems. These are often as simple as leg lifts while seated in a chair, or “knee marching.” We may also 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.

That’s why we provide a range of programs and therapies to evaluate and treat balance disorders:

Ready to “balance” your life again?

With our dedicated team of physical therapists behind you, you’ll regain confidence in navigating challenging terrain and learning how to avoid dizzy spells. You may even be able to leave that cane or walker behind!