In a previous blog, I explained how you can test your “3 Balance Systems” to determine your body’s ability to give your brain accurate sensory input. Recall that giving your brain accurate input regarding your balance is the first key step in maintaining your balance and avoiding a fall.
And the next 2 steps involve your ability to process this sensory input and make any necessary corrections.
So far, I’ve tried to keep my explanations of your balance pretty simple… and I’m hoping that today won’t be too confusing.
However, keep this in mind as we discuss the 8 factors that can influence your balance: there are a lot of different factors involved when it comes to maintaining your balance. Often times, people who struggle with poor balance will have 2-3 factors that specifically affect them. Your ability to improve your balance will depend on figuring out which 2-3 factors are affecting you and improving them if you can (not all of them can be improved, but I’ll discuss that as we go along).
Last week, I introduced you to what I refer to as the “downward spiral” of having a fall. In short, I highlighted how one isolated fall can often have life-altering consequences, ultimately including things like depression and decreased enjoyment in life.
And while this may have been a rough way to start the conversation about balance and fall prevention, I also promised to brighten things up by sharing some useful information with you about how you can improve your balance and stay active. And today, that’s just what I plan to do!
But before you set off to improve your balance, it’s vital that you understand how your balance actually works. Let’s oversimplify it before I give you too many details.
Maintaining your balance is basically a 3-step process:
->> Step #1: Your ability to sense your balance
->> Step #2: Your ability to process this sensory input
->> Step #3: Your ability to respond to this input and make adjustments
The presence of pain, such as hip pain, ankle pain or low back/sciatic pain, is one of the MOST overlooked factors related to improving your balance and reducing the likelihood of having a fall.
In this video, I’ll explain exactly how pain can throw off your balance, and I’ll also explain what you can do to reduce your pain and improve your balance, so you can stay active, mobile and independent!
The first blog/video in this series was all about vertigo, particularly “inner ear vertigo” or BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo).
Click this link if you want to see the first part: https://physicaltherapyspokane.com/what-causes-vertigo-all-about-bppv/
In this second part, I’m going to share some specific information about how we help our clients fix BPPV quickly in the clinic by following a 3-step approach.
Before I give you those details, recall that BPPV has some very telling symptoms: people tend to have sudden and often severe episodes of vertigo following certain head movements or position changes (like tipping the head back, bending forward, getting in and out of bed, and rolling over in bed).
If this sounds like you or a loved one, the information below should be very helpful!
While there are multiple factors that affect your ability to maintain your balance and prevent a fall, it’s nice to look at the bigger picture before diving into the details.
And when it comes to maintaing balance, you can basically break it down into 3 things that you must do:
Sense your balance in relationship to your environment
Process this information via your brain
Respond and make necessary corrections
Each step involves various factors, which I’ll cover briefly in today’s video.
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