If you have fallen, then you understand how important it is to keep your balance as you walk or sit. Your physical therapist is a movement expert who can help you improve your balance so you can maintain safe functional mobility.
Who benefits from balance exercises in st our clinic? People who may engage in balance exercises might include:
- Older persons with limited functional mobility
- People who have fallen
- People with neurological conditions, such as a stroke, that may cause balance impairments
- Athletes who are injured
- People who have had surgery
- People with vertigo
When you first meet your physical therapist, he or she may assess your balance. If it is determined that your balance is impaired, a treatment strategy may be developed that includes exercises to help improve your balance to maximize your safe functional mobility.
How You Can Improve Balance
Your body can change and grow in response to specific balance exercises, and this can lead to improved balance and safe functional mobility.
Four simple balance exercises that your PT might prescribe include the following. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting these, or any other exercise, for your balance:
- Single leg stance: Find something stable to hold onto, and then lift one foot off the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then repeat with the other foot. You can increase the challenge by letting go of the stable object you are holding or by closing your eyes while standing on one foot.
- Tandem walking with a heel-to-toe pattern: Standing upright, walk forward by placing one heel directly in front of the toes on the opposite foot. Walk forward for 10 paces. You can make this more challenging by walking backward in a toe-to-heel pattern. Be sure something stable, like your kitchen counter, is close by for safety.
- Walking with various head motions: Walk forward for 10 paces while turning your head left and right, scanning across the room as you walk. Then, walk forward while nodding your head up and down. The changing visual field will challenge your balance and equilibrium systems.
- Altering your visual system as you move to challenge your balance: Print out a checkerboard design or any other design that can create altered visual images. Tape this design to the wall, and walk forward toward it while staring directly at the design. Then, walk backward, keeping your eyes focused on the design. This altered visual field can challenge your equilibrium and overall balance.
Scheduling an appointment is easy, convenient and flexible. We’ll schedule you fast, sometimes the same or next day, but always within 24 to 48 hours of requesting your first appointment.