How Physical Therapy Helps Improve Balance

Good balance is one of the most important building blocks of being able to safely move and perform activities of daily living. Without good balance, you are more likely to fall and seriously injure yourself. That is why balance training is a key aspect of physical therapy.

Signs of Balance Problems

A balance problem exists if someone has difficulty keeping a stable and upright body position, whether moving or staying still. Some causes of balance problems include muscle weakness, joint stiffness, decreased movement, inner ear problems, lack of physical activity or too much sitting. Balance problems can also arise due to medical conditions like stroke, arthritis, diabetes, cognitive diseases, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. 

A person with balance problems may experience teetering when trying to stand up, staggering, tripping, swaying or stumbling when walking, dizziness or vertigo, lightheadedness or blurred vision. 

Some people do not have any static balance issues, meaning they can sit or stand still and accomplish one task at a time. Problems with dynamic balance are more likely. An example of dynamic balance is when someone moves about or tries to do more than one thing at a time, such as walking while turning their head, bending and reaching for an object or walking in a poorly lit area. If a person’s static or dynamic balance is abnormal, physical therapy can help.

Benefits of Good Balance 

The most beneficial aspect of good balance is injury prevention. When you improve your balance, you are less likely to fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one out of four adults 65 and older falls each year. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again. Falls can cause broken bones, fractures and head injuries. Working on balance skills can significantly reduce the chances of falling in the first place. 

Being afraid of falling because of balance issues can also affect someone’s physical and mental well-being. They may avoid physical activity altogether, which can lead to more muscle weakness and balance problems. A person can also become frustrated by not being able to do certain activities, which can lead to depression. 

How Physical Therapy Helps Improve Balance

Physical therapy is all about improving strength, range of motion and balance to help people regain their independence and confidence after an injury, surgery or hospital stay due to an illness. Our physical therapists at Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services work on movements and exercises that strengthen the core and other key muscle groups associated with balance. 

Our physical therapists assess each person to see what areas of movement, strength, coordination, visual tracking and balance may need improvement. They will then create a tailored plan of care to help the individual reach their balance and other healthcare goals.

Beyond exercises, they will also help people assess potential problems with footwear and hazards in their home that could be a fall risk. Hazards can include loose rugs, poor lighting and other obstacles.

At Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services, our overall goal is to help each individual improve their mobility, strength, movement, flexibility and posture so they can have more control over their balance. This will help them reduce their fear of falling and increase their overall activity level.

We are here to help you reach your balance goals and better your health. Contact us today to set up a free consultation by calling 800-999-9883 or using our online form.