Do You Need Balance Therapy?
If you have difficulty maintaining stable and upright positions when standing, walking, or even sitting, then you have a need for physical therapy. Our sense of balance comes from the interaction of sensory information from the eyes, joints of our body, and vestibular system which is processed by our brain. A deficit in one or more of these structures can diminish the ability to maintain balance or recover from a loss of balance. Current data shows that older people are likely to develop balance problems. Balance problems increase by almost 30% in people over the age of 80. Balance can affect any age due to the multitude of reasons that can create unsteadiness. Conditions that can cause a balance disorder include:
- Inner-Ear Conditions
- Foot Pain and Foot Conditions
- Low Blood Pressure
- Neurological Conditions (i.e. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, et.al)
- Certain Medications
- Eye Diseases
Is it a Balance or a Dizziness Problem?
In our experience, many patients use the term dizziness when they are actually trying to describe unsteadiness. Unsteadiness is a loss of balance. Dizziness is the sensation that either you or the room is moving. It’s a subtle distinction but it is helpful in understanding this difference to so that the reason for your condition can be diagnosed. Conditions that can cause dizziness include:
- Low Blood Sugar
- Magnesium Deficiency
- Low Blood Pressure
What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?
Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) or vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specialized form of physical and occupational therapy intended to alleviate both the primary and secondary problems caused by vestibular disorders. Vestibular rehabilitation uses exercises referred to as habituation or accomodation to help people with vestibular system damage feel better regain function through compensation. This occurs because the brain learns to use vision or somatosensory (body sense) to substitute for a deficient vestibular system. The health of specific parts of the nervous system (brainstem, cerebellum, vision, and somatosensory sensations) is important in determining the extent of recovery that can be gained through compensation.
Balance Therapy and Vestibular Rehabilitation for You
Our Doctors of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapists will conduct a full evaluation that will review your medical history and examine your posture, strength, and vital signs. In addition, we conduct special balance tests and vestibular tests to establish if you are at risk for having a fall and to determine where the problem is occurring. Your therapist will then create an individualized balance therapy program that will help you achieve the following goals:
- Reduce Your Fall Risk
- Reduce Fear of Falling
- Improved Mobility
- Improved Balance
- Improved Strength
- Improved Movement
- Improved Flexibility and Posture
- Increased Activity Levels
Schedule your appointment today to embark on your path to regaining your balance. Treatment is available in our office but you may also be able to receive physical therapy at home. Call us to find out more.