Standing On Two Feet: Balance Training Progression Exercises

Standing On Two Feet: Balance Training Progression Exercises

Have you noticed that since injuring your ankle or foot, your balance seems off? Are you looking for exercises to help your balance and improve your confidence? Our physical therapists at Total Performance Physical Therapy in Hatfield understand balance and the most effective exercises to ensure you can live the life you want!

Many factors can affect your balance, from ankle and foot pain to inner ear issues that make it difficult to move without feeling disoriented.

For some people, balance is affected by impairments in their range of motion or strength, leading to compensations affecting gait or other daily functions that depend on balance. For others, the most significant disruptions are to some part of our nervous system that is needed to tell where the body is positioned when moving or staying still.

Whether you are dealing with a physical impairment or some disruption to your nervous system, our physical therapists at Total Performance Physical Therapy can help. We will work with you to identify all the possible factors that affect your balance and help provide the most effective exercises to resolve your issues and help you get back to moving normally.

Request an appointment today, and let us help you resolve your pain and restore your balance!

How pain or injury can affect your balance

Our body is a highly organized, interconnected, and interactive system capable of incredible feats of physical performance. When functioning correctly, the system\’s built-in safety features ensure our body can avoid harm. One of these systems is somatosensation, sometimes called our \”sixth sense.\”

Pain is a normal sensation our body uses to influence how information is processed in our bodily systems directly. Pain, especially strong or persistent, will often override other bodily sensations and impair our ability to interact with our surrounding environment.

Disruptions in this somato sensation can delay or interfere with receiving the information we need to adapt and adjust to changes in our body and surroundings. This may lead to changes in your balance and how you can adapt to unexpected obstacles. Specifically, impairments in our systems can disrupt your base of support and negatively affect your balance.

Whether you have an acute injury or a chronic condition, pain can impair other senses and disrupt your body\’s ability to balance. Balance is usually thought of in two ways, static and dynamic.

  • Static balance is the ability to maintain an upright posture with the line of gravity inside the base of support (i.e., standing still)
  • Dynamic balance is the ability to maintain stability during changes to the base of support (i.e., moving, walking, running, etc.)

When pain is at the forefront of your attention, it can be challenging to detect the information from the other senses that help regulate your balance. Even when your pain subsides, dysfunction may still be present and lead to re-injury or chronic problems.

You need to resolve your strength, balance thoroughly, and coordination to avoid re-injuring, developing a new injury, or experiencing persistent deficits in your balance.

If you have noticed limited mobility, persistent pain, balance, and gait problems since your injury, Total Performance Physical Therapy in Hatfield can help. We will determine the type of injury and provide you with the necessary treatments for healing and strategies to avoid re-injury.

Three simple exercises to help your balance

Anytime pain or an injury affects our somatosensation system. Our balance is affected. If you are dealing with an injury or illness affecting a part of your nervous system it is vitally important to get it assessed by one of our physical therapy specialists.

There are some safe, highly effective programs your therapist can show you for those dealing with pain or injury from an orthopedic or physical condition. Our team will conduct a thorough evaluation to give you a program tailored to your needs.

The exercises will likely include static and dynamic movements and some mobility/strengthening exercises. For example:

  • Standing balance: With your hand touching a solid object (i.e., wall, countertop, etc.), lift one foot and try to balance without using your hands to support you. You want your hands near something solid for safety reasons, to ensure you don\’t lose your balance.

If you find this easy, try closing your eyes when you balance. The goal is to maintain balance for up to 30 seconds without needing to use your hands for support.

  • Marching: Once again, use a wall or countertop, something solid, for support by touching, but not gripping or holding onto unless necessary. Now try alternating lifting one foot into the air after another and marching down a hallway or along the countertop.

Always lift your leg as high as possible and pause at the top to challenge your body to maintain balance while moving.

  • Chair Squats: With the back of a chair against the wall for safety purposes, sit down and stand up again. It is OK to reach back and touch the armrests, but try not to use them to push yourself up or lower yourself down. Use your legs to do all the work.

Perform ten repetitions without resting if you can, and perform once every day. When you notice ten repetitions feel easy, add five more repetitions and add more reps until you can do 30 in a row. At that point, you can start holding on to a weight to make it more difficult or try performing with your feet in a staggered stance.

Injury often disrupts our ability to sense where our joint is positioned. This, in turn, affects our awareness of where and how our body\’s moving. The good news is that the physical therapists at Total Performance Physical Therapy in Hatfield can train your static and dynamic senses and restore or improve your strength to resolve your balance issues and improve your overall functioning!

What to expect from your physical therapy sessions

Our physical therapists at Total Performance Physical Therapy in Hatfield will start with an injury evaluation and a biomechanical assessment to identify all the factors contributing to your pain or injury. They will also conduct screenings to identify issues with your vestibular system or neurological disorders and address them appropriately.

Your therapist will also identify any weaknesses or limitations that may affect your recovery, stability, or balance. Our therapists will use this information to develop a comprehensive program that includes targeted manual techniques, mobility work, strengthening, and any appropriate pain relief technique we deem necessary.

Next, we will focus on your strength and dynamic stability to restore your previous level of function and prevent future injuries. We will also incorporate balance and coordination exercises to stimulate the nervous system and help ensure you can tolerate any activity that comes your way!

Request an appointment today!

At Total Performance Physical Therapy in Hatfield, our physical therapist team has successfully restored balance and provided strategies to ensure you get back to doing what you love!

Call today to request an appointment with one of our specialists!



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