Ever wonder if you are going to make it safely to the bathroom at night? With the dim lighting, unknown objects on the floor, and half asleep legs it is typical to feel unsteady and afraid of falling. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Physical Therapist treat many individuals after a fall, but don’t wait that long! There are many factors that contribute to balance problems, which can be addressed before a fall ever occurs.
Lower Body Strength
The strength of your legs is one of the most important things to consider. Not only do our legs have to hold all of our body weight when we are walking, but they also must have enough endurance to keep us going all day long. Leg strength is required to get us standing from a sitting position and back sitting. The strength of our legs is import
ant factor in our ability to remain balanced and avoid falls. As we all age, it is a normal thing to lose strength. Strength can also be lost following an injury and from a lack of use. It is important to minimize this muscle loss as much as possible in order to maximize our leg function and keep our balance.
Our ability to keep our balance while moving is a complex thing that is controlled by three main systems in the body. Our vision is the primary system used to maintain balance. This system is why it is much more difficult to stand with your eyes close, or walk in the dark. If you have an issue with your vision, such as a lack of lower peripheral vision, it makes keeping your balance much more challenging.
The second system used to maintain balance is called the somatosensory system. This system works by means of your body knowing where it is in space by your feet getting input from the ground. Problems in this system make it more difficult to walk on uneven surfaces such as grass or sand. A common issue you may face with this system is an impairment known as neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy.
The final system that contributes to your ability to be balanced is the vestibular system. There are fluid and stones that lie in our ear canals, which move when our head moves. The movement of these stones in relation to gravity is what our body uses to determine balance. If you have ever experienced Vertigo, then you may have had a problem with your vestibular system.
In order to correct the balance issue you have, it’s best to be evaluated by a Doctor of Physical Therapy. At Rosi Physiotherapy, our Doctors are expertly trained to find which system is the cause of your balance problems, and give appropriate treatment to improve balance.