Many people find that their balance can deteriorate as they age and become nervous and fearful of falling. Our body does change with age, and that can contribute to our mobility and balance, but just because you are getting older does not mean you are less able to maintain good balance.
Apart from ageing, there are many others who experience issues with their balance. Athletes, or anyone who performs sports who are dependent on their balance to help maintain their best performance.
When one feels unsteady on their feet, it can really have a big impact on their confidence and can lead to an avoidance of certain activities because you feel they could be too challenging for you. Not pushing yourself to do these activities can have a negative effect on your mental health and your physical health too. We all need to keep our strength and mobility up, because without doing this, your muscles will become weaker and this will contribute to our loss of balance.
Seeing a physiotherapist can help recognise any underlying issues that may be causing you to feel off balance, and with their help, they can provide a solution to improve and correct your balance. Doing the correct exercises is a vital way to improve your balance, endurance, posture, muscle strength, function and mobility.
Being able to keep your balance is one of the best things you can do for yourself to keep yourself healthy, keep yourself moving, fit and free from injury for as long as possible!
Reasons that one would benefit from balance exercises include:
- Before or after surgery
- Finding mobility difficult
- Neurological conditions such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease or MS
- Muscle strains
- Have a history of falls
- Poor posture
Reasons that could contribute to poor balance include:
- Impairment of the vestibular system
- Poor Core stability
- Poorly fitted footwear
- Weak muscles of the lower limbs
- Reduced proprioception
- Medication side effects
- Any injuries to the head or neurological issues
- A drop in blood pressure (postural hypotension)
- General ageing and frailty
What are balance exercises for?
A physiotherapist will focus on challenging your balance by developing the musculoskeletal system and vestibular system. The goals to be reached from balance physiotherapy are:
- Improved balance overall
- Improved mobility
- Reduced risk of falling
- Increased muscle tone
- Improved ability to carry out functional tasks
What will balance physiotherapy include?
- Exercises on different supports, eg. Balancing on one leg, or one foot
- Exercises that are based on reaching out for an object while balancing
- Exercises that require you to close your eyes
- Exercises on different surfaces, outdoors, indoors, using different types of flooring
Balance exercises should always be personalised to the individual’s needs to get the best results. Every person is different and has a different posture type, different height, different weight, and everyone’s flexibility in their joints is different too, making a targeted individual programme vital to the patient’s recovery.
If you are having balance problems that is affecting your ability to carry out your normal daily activities, please call Home Physio Group on 020 7096 0684 to talk to a member of our specialised team and learn how we can help you improve your overall function and balance.