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Are you having trouble balancing?

posted Dec 9, 2015, 1:35 PM by Rebecca Smith   [ updated Feb 22, 2016, 9:37 PM ]
Balance is a state where a body/object is in equilibrium (i.e. stable). Balance varies between each person with some people having adequate balance and being able to stand on one leg with their eyes open, while some people have an enhanced level of balance compared to the average person, such as gymnasts who can walk and do flips on a balance beam.

However, there are various conditions or injuries that someone can suffer from that will reduce their level of balance, so that basic tasks such as walking can be a challenge. These conditions/injuries can include (but are not limited to) Vertigo, Meniere’s disease, Labyrinthitis, Parkinson’s disease, hip/knee replacements, knee injuries, ankle injuries (e.g. sprains) and inadequate muscle strength.

Balance is thought to consist of the following components:
  • Cognitive (state of mental awareness and concentration)
  • Motor control
  • Muscle strength
  • Vestibular (sense of balance within the inner ear)
  • Proprioception (ability to sense the position/location/orientation/movement of the body and its parts)
  • Visual
If one of these components is impaired or eliminated, then your level of balance will also be impaired. This is why if you ever stand on one leg and find it harder to remain stable when you close your eyes, you are finding it harder because you are challenging your balance while eliminating the visual component.

But it is not all bad news. With specific exercises, your balance can be improved even when some components such as the vestibular system are not easily fixed. Such balance exercises include general lower limb strengthening, standing on one leg, tandem walking, and incorporating equipment such as wobble boards, balance discs and trampolines.

If you have been experiencing difficulties with your balance and find it affecting your day-to-day activities, then book yourself an appointment with Arron or myself, or contact the Southwest Wellness Centre for more information on the “Stable, Steady and Able” balance exercise program.

Physiotherapist Narellan
Difference Physiotherapy Narellan & Camden