The Back to Motion Physical Therapy team understands the complications that are experienced by individuals that suffer from balance problems. We also understand how physical therapy for dizziness can help.
In this feature, we would like to take the time to offer insight on this commonly experienced health problem.
If you experience issues with balance, it can become difficult to maintain stability in the upright position while standing in place, walking from one location to another, and also sitting. While older people most commonly experience balance instability, this condition may detrimentally impact younger individuals, too.
As physical therapists, we work to develop an individualized activity plan for each of our patients. The goal of this plan is to optimize the strength, improve stability, and increase mobility.
Common Causes of Balance Problems
A person is said to have a balance problem when it becomes difficult to maintain an upright and stable position. In most instances, balance suffers as a result of weakness in the muscles, stiffness in the joints, problems with the inner ear, living a sedentary lifestyle, aging, or as a side effect of taking certain types of medications. There are a multitude of medical conditions that may also cause balance issues.
These include Parkinson’s disease, injury to the brain, multiple sclerosis, stroke, injury to the spinal cord, arthritis, diabetes, and cognitive-based diseases. Essentially, all balance problems stem from the improper functioning of one or more of the following systems within the body: the muscular system, the inner ear, the vision, or issues with the awareness of the body (proprioception).
What is Experienced
When a person suffers from balance problems, they may find themselves suffering from swaying, dizziness, tripping, vertigo, stumbling, and even falling. Many have optimal static balance; that is, they do not suffer from balance problems when standing very still or performing only one activity.
However, many may suffer from dynamic balance complications; that is, the problems become more evident when the individual is attempting more than one activity. Dynamic balance problems may result in frequent falls and possible injuries. Individuals that suffer from problems with their balance typically experience a diminished quality of life. This because they become fearful of doing certain things.
When they stop performing certain activities, they may lose strength within the muscles. Once this happens, frailty starts to occur. Depression and other health problems may then start to develop.
How Physical Therapy for Dizziness Can Help
We offer many types of exercises, treatments, and techniques that are designed to improve balance, build strength, improve mobility, and optimize the functionality of the body. We specialize in Vestibular Therapy if you have issues with the inner ear.
We will do a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history and observe your movements. We will inquire about the symptoms that you have experienced and the activities that you seem to experience the most challenges. We will then create an individualized care plan that will address your unique needs. We will then work closely with you to aid in strengthening and retraining the body.