Walking and Balance
Do you find that your balance is not what it used to be? Is walking tiresome? Maybe you are using an assistive device such as a cane or walker to get around? Your body’s ability to balance through the vestibular system allows you to walk without problems.
Your sense of balance enables you to negotiate uneven ground, correct for tripping over objects, and many other daily activities often taken for granted. Our ability to balance depends on three main components including: sensation from joints and muscles, the inner ear and vision. As we age, our reflexes slow down slightly. This makes it difficult to adapt to uneven terrain such as grass, cracked pavement, gravel and stairs. In addition, poor posture, weakness in the hips, ankles and poor eyesight can all contribute to poor balance.
Most people don’t understand that they have decreased balance until it is too late and they fall. Falls are the number one cause of death from injury in the US and also cause millions of fractures and injuries each year. Most of this can be prevented with the right physical therapy treatments.
Our treatments are uniquely designed to your needs. We evaluate your walking (gait) pattern to determine where you are compensating for weaknesses or poor muscle coordination. Furthermore, testing on your balance determines where we need to focus our attention on to achieve the greatest results for you. Many of our patients no longer have to use canes or walkers to walk, allowing them a greater freedom of safe movement.
Dizziness and Vertigo
Dizziness can be caused by a variety of conditions, but typically occurs from poor perception in the joints / muscles combined with visual tracking problems and inner ear coordination with your vestibular system. When the brain receives all these mixed signals, it becomes confused and dizziness occurs. Vertigo is a spinning sensation that typically occurs because of problems between the visual tracking and balance systems in the inner ear.
Physical therapy plays a crucial role in helping dizziness and vertigo, by performing several key treatments. Physical therapists can help you feel more in control and in some cases can achieve instant results with specialized procedures. In other cases, balance and coordination training diminish the symptoms and allow you to move without dizziness or vertigo.
Our expert physical therapists have years of training in movement and balance analysis. We evaluate your leg strength, movement, balance reflexes and much more to determine exactly where your balance problem lies. We then formulate a complete treatment plan that will improve your balance and train you on what you can do to maintain the improvement.
Come in today for a free balance and fall prevention screening with one of our physical therapists! For more information, Call us at Los Gatos & San Jose, CA centers.