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Physiotherapy for body balance issues
Some balance problems are caused by a dysfunction of the vestibular system, and balance related problems become more prominent in adults over the ages of 70 years which then increases the risk of falls.
One of the harmful effects of having a vestibular disorder is an altered perception of spatial orientation. For the elderly suffering from this issue, life becomes utterly difficult. This leads to problems in maintaining their stability, and upright positions during their everyday activities. Even sitting can be a problem for them not just standing or walking. Physiotherapy and prescribed exercises are used to treat body balance issues. This helps the elderly to maintain their independence by treating their body balance issues.
A physiotherapist can advise on fall risks in the home by checking the surroundings of the home, suggesting lighting improvements or looking for potential hazards like loose rugs or carpets.
Benefits of physiotherapy for balance related issues
- Strength building – A physiotherapist generally recommends exercises for strengthening the muscles in hips, trunks, and stomachs. These are the muscles mainly responsible for maintaining the body balance.
- Improve mobility – A physiotherapist can provide tips and motivation to drag people out of their sedentary lifestyle. The patients ultimately become more confident.
- Improve in balance – Physiotherapists help patients to improve both static and dynamic balance using balance exercises.
- Improvements in flexibility and posture
- Increasing activity – A physiotherapist will outline specific plans for every patient according to their daily chores and activity goals.
- Recommending specialist doctors – A physiotherapist may also recommend other allied healthcare services or specialist doctors should further medical care be required.
Prevention of balance related issues
Prevention is always better than cure. Though physiotherapy for balance is one of the best solutions to body balance issues, the preference should always be to avoid this problem. One can easily avoid this problem by moving around and avoiding a lazy lifestyle. Making sure you keep up with biannual eye and ear tests could raise concerns early to prevent the onset of balance related issues
What causes Dizziness?
Dizziness is the most common complaint of patients over the age of 75 but can occur in patients of any age. Dizziness is generally not serious but is often a sign of a mechanical problem. Dizziness can be due to an inner ear disorder, a side effect of medications, a sign of neck dysfunction, or it can be due to a more serious problem such as a brain or a heart problem. It is important to rule out these more serious problems with your physician.
Balance training has been shown to be an important and effective part of fall prevention. Upon the completion of a thorough initial assessment our physiotherapists will design exercises that challenge your ability to keep your balance, including exercises such as single-leg standing.
Balance, Vestibular dysfunction and Fall prevention therapy
We can evaluate and treat dizziness and balance problems that may be caused by any of the following:
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
- Unilateral Vestibular Loss following an inner ear infection, acoustic neuroma
- Bilateral Vestibular Loss following exposure to gentamicin, chemotherapy, and other ototoxic substances
- Movement related instability, dizziness, intolerance
- Migraine Associated Vertigo / Vestibular Migraines
- Post-Concussion Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Mal De debarquement Syndrome
- Meniere’s Disease / Endolymphatic Hydrops
- Cervicogenic Dizziness
- Visio-spatial Disorientation
- Vestibular loss due to age
- Imbalance due to peripheral neuropathy
Your symptoms may include:
- Dizziness or blurry vision with head movements
- Neck tightness, stiffness and/or pain
- Imbalance or the need to hold onto objects when walking
- Frequent falls
- Generalised “dizziness, wooziness and foggy head” feelings
- Vertigo / spinning
Treatment for your balance and/or vestibular disorder may include the following:
- Vision exercises
- Standing balance exercises
- Posture training
- Strengthening exercises
- Walking training
- Neck range of motion exercises
- Manual therapy for the neck
- Sensation training
- Repositioning manoeuvres (for those with BPPV – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
Your treatment plan will be customised for you by ouor physiotherapists based on your assessment findings. Typical outcomes following vestibular rehabilitation include decreased fall risk, decreased symptoms of dizziness, improved balance, improved ability to stabilise your vision, increased strength, increased independence with functional mobility, increased confidence when walking in the community, improved neck movement and decreased pain.