How Physical Therapy Can Help Improve Your Balance Issues

Do you feel dizzy doing your everyday tasks? Are you worried about your balance and wish you could get your balance checked? At Total Performance, we are experts at identifying the factors affecting your balance and, most importantly, how to improve it!

Most people take their balance for granted or assume it only affects sick or unhealthy people. In reality, balance often starts without reason or is too mild to address. The feeling of instability or slight dizziness may be the start of something more severe and should be assessed by a physical therapist sooner than later.

People experience changes in their balance after an injury or surgery, while others have an illness or are experiencing the effects of aging. Fortunately, most balance disorders are treatable with the skills of your Total Performance physical therapists!

If you have been noticing issues with your balance, we can help you figure out the root of your problem and give you the tools to help you feel safe on your feet again!

Call today and request an appointment with one of our highly trained therapists!

How does balance work, and what limits it?

The simple definition of balance is the ability to keep your body within the limits of your base of support (i.e., your feet). Maintaining your balance while performing your normal daily activities requires the interconnected systems in your body to interact and coordinate with precise timing.

The following systems interact to help maintain our sense of balance:

  • Inner ears: Sensors that make up our vestibular system monitor the directions of motion (i.e., turning, forward-backward, side-to-side, and up-and-down motions).
  • Eyes: The visual system observes where the body is in space and its moving directions.
  • Skin: Nerve receptors provide information about how the body moves on different terrains. In the feet, pressure sensors give feedback telling our body information about the ground and any obstacle we may encounter.
  • Muscles and joints: These sensory receptors in our muscles and joints sense what body parts are moving and help regulate the force and speed of our movements.

Our central nervous system takes information from multiple sources and processes it instantaneously to ensure we identify changes in our environment so our body can adjust accordingly. The intricate interaction of all the information from these systems is coordinated most efficiently to ensure we maintain our balance in everyday life.

Your body must constantly integrate the interaction between your musculoskeletal and central nervous systems to control your balance while standing, walking, changing positions, reaching, and even anticipating movements.

Any disruption to one or multiple systems will impair your ability to balance yourself. Our physical therapists at Total Performance will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to identify where you have limitations. Next, we will create a customized treatment plan to improve your balance based on your specific limitations.

It can sometimes be challenging to determine the causes of your deficits, which is why getting a physical therapy assessment is so important. Our team will identify limitations in your balance and address them to minimize your risk of falling.

The most common causes of balance impairments include:

  • Vertigo due to inner ear disorder
  • Age (people over 65 have an increased risk of falling due to balance deficits)
  • Visual disorders
  • Injuries to the head and neck
  • Weakness in leg muscles (i.e., related to aging, injury, or illness)
  • Neuropathies (i.e., diabetes)
  • Arthritis (especially in the spine and lower extremities)
  • Neurological disorders (i.e., stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc.)
  • Cardiovascular disease (i.e., low blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, congestive heart failure) 
  • Medications

No matter what may be causing you issues, our team can help. We will get to the root of your problems, help you stay steady on your feet, and avoid a fall!

What to expect at your Total Performance sessions

Our physical therapist will conduct a balanced assessment to identify all the factors influencing your condition and gauge your problem\’s nature. We will use our comprehensive testing to determine the best treatment for your needs.

Our physical therapists will design treatment plans with targeted exercises emphasizing activities that address your limitations. We will incorporate strengthening exercises that help improve your core and lower extremities to minimize your fall risk and restore overall mobility.

Depending on your condition, your treatment plan may include vestibular rehabilitation or addressing the other systems affecting your balance. Drills that stimulate the nervous system can help you achieve the best outcomes.

If you have recently sustained a balance-related injury, it is important to seek the help of a physical therapist immediately to avoid additional injuries in the future. At Total Performance, we diagnose movement problems, and focus on providing a personalized treatment plan to help you feel more steady, experience less dizziness, and lower your risk of falling.

Request an appointment with our balance specialists!

Our physical therapists have the extensive knowledge needed to identify and treat the source of your balance issues. If you’re looking for a comprehensive assessment and want help regaining the confidence you need to stay active and healthy, call Total Performance today!


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