Advice from Your Licensed Physical Therapists
If you have ever lost your balance, you already know how disorienting this sensation can be. Balance issues can make it difficult for people to maintain stable or upright positions when sitting, standing, walking, and bending over. While older people are more at risk of experiencing balancing problems, the condition can affect anyone at any age. Balance is extremely important for your overall health and happiness, so if you begin to notice any changes when it comes to balancing, it’s time to speak with a physical therapist. A licensed physical therapist will go over your health history and conduct a thorough examination including balance tests to better assess your overall physical capabilities and provide you with a targeted treatment plan.
How Physical Therapy Helps with Balance Issues
There are several factors that can affect your balance such as:
- Decreased sensation in your legs and feet
- Vision problems
- Medication interactions
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Other chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and diabetes
If the following systems are not functioning properly, you may be more susceptible to balance issues:
- Vision: Age and eye disease are two contributing factors that can lead to poor vision.
- Vestibular Disorder: Problems with your inner ear may result in vertigo.
- Muscular System: As we age, muscle strength and flexibility decline.
- Proprioception Disorder: Your body’s ability to sense movements and actions.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent balance issues from escalating in the future:
- Remain active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
- Schedule annual vision check-ups and monitor medication interactions.
- Manage any chronic illnesses such as diabetes, which affects your balance long-term.
- Immediately notify your physical therapist about any sudden falls you’ve experienced.
A physical therapist can offer a number of different treatment options to help reverse your balance issues. We can advise you on the best practices to improve your balance, including stretching, strengthening, inner ear retraining and more. A trained physical therapist can determine the cause of your balance issues and design a rehabilitation program that addresses your specific needs.
Here are a few ways a physical therapist can help you:
- Reduce Risk of Falls: We can recommend better footwear options and identify hazards around your home that may increase your risk of losing your balance. Hazards may include but are not limited to poor lighting, loose rugs and unrestrained pets.
- Improve Flexibility: We can help you gain flexibility by stretching out tight muscles and improve your posture through gentle exercises to enhance your overall balance.
- Improve Mobility: We can teach you how to move around with greater ease and better coordination by developing a treatment program that will gradually build your strength and mobility skills.
- Improve Strength: We can provide an exercise program that targets weak muscles and improve your strength. One key area to strengthen is your core, which may improve your balance significantly.
- Improve Balance: We can teach you exercises for improving your balance while sitting or standing still, in addition to maintaining your balance while in motion. As your skills improve, the level of exercise will increase.
- Increase Activity Levels: We can discuss how to reach your activity goals and provide you with a suitable exercise program.
If you need help correcting your balance issues, work with a licensed physical therapist from Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania. Our therapists have advanced knowledge and extensive experience in treating balance problems and can provide comprehensive, multidimensional evaluations in addition to a therapeutic exercise plan to treat your specific condition and provide a long-term resolution.