FIGHT THE FALL DON’T LET YOUR FALL FIGHT YOU
When was the last time you had your balance checked? No matter what age you are, your balance can always be improved - in fact, even those who do not live with a balance or gait disorder can still suffer from balance-related injuries that occur from poor posture or reflexes. However, if you frequently notice an imbalance, dizziness, or unsteadiness that makes you feel as if you may fall over at any given time, it is a sign that you may be living with a balance or gait disorder. Balance disorders, and balance issues in general, all stem from the vestibular system. The vestibular system is a delicate collection of fluid-filled chambers and sensory nerves located in the inner ear. Your vestibular system helps manage your “proprioception,” or sense of position, and when this is altered, it can be difficult to keep yourself steady. If you have been noticing issues with your balance, contact FYZICAL today so we can help you figure out the root of your problem and treat it accordingly. How can I tell if I need to improve my balance? It can sometimes be difficult to determine if your balance is in need of improvement. The simple test below may be an indicator that you should seek physical therapy intervention: • Stand barefoot next to a counter, sink, or chair with your hand gently grasping the counter surface. • Put one foot directly in front of the other, so that one heel is touching the opposite toes. • Gently lift your hand up, but keep it close to the counter in case you need to grab it quickly. Try to hold this for 10 seconds (only do this if you feel safe or have someone nearby to help you). • Now try it with your eyes closed. • Do you wobble or lose your balance? This means your balance needs work. According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), over 2.5 million adults were treated for nonfatal injuries in emergency departments in 2013. In older adults, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Most people don’t think about keeping their balance in shape until it is too late and they suffer a harsh fall. The good news is that most falls can easily be prevented, simply by the regular exercising of your balance system. If you have recently sustained a balance-related injury, it is important to seek the help of a physical therapist immediately, in order to avoid additional injuries in the future. It is important to note that you should also contact a physical therapist if you have any of the following symptoms: • Dizziness or vertigo (“spinning” sensations, even when remaining still). • Nausea or vomiting. • Arm or leg weakness. • Abnormal eye movements. • Difficulty standing up froma seated position or standing for prolonged periods of time. • Inability to focus or remain alert. • Double vision or tunnel vision.
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