Ann Steinfeld PT June 2018

www.annsteinfeldpt.com (714) 556-1600 June 2018

STEINFELD STAY-FIT NEWS

Motion Is Vitality Why a Balance Assessment Is so Important

People are living longer than ever before, and that means they want to live well for as long as they can. As part of their personal wellness plan, a lot of older Americans are seeking out physical therapy. It’s not just about pain management or rehabilitation, but prevention and balance assessment. Medicare even has fall-risk-related coverage. When it comes to balance, a lot of people don’t realize they have an issue until it becomes apparent. And even then, identifying the exact balance issue can be tricky. Balance is a complicated system. Poor balance may be the result of a functional issue or a weakness in muscles or joints. It might also be related to vision, inner ear, or vestibular issues. Sometimes it can even be a combination of factors. This is why a balance assessment is so important. You might not be experiencing an immediate issue, but you may notice that something is “off” or you’re not quite yourself. A balance assessment is your best next step — literally! For many people, exercise is the key to restoring andmaintaining balance as we get older. For instance, if you lack strength in the ankle and knee, you’re likely to have a weaker hip, and therefore a weak core and trunk. By strengthening one area, you canmore easily strengthen the rest. One muscle group influences the next. When you focus on core strength exercises, you can ultimately strengthen your hip, your knee, as well as your ankle. We help patients find the exercise program that makes the most sense for them when they want to improve their overall strength and balance. For some people, all they need is a simple exercise program they can do right at home. Others may want to integrate a program into their Pilates or yoga. That’s one of the great things about physical therapy. So much of what we do easily integrates into the things you’re already doing or want to do. You just have to make it happen! According the Department of Health and Human Services,

right around 9 percent of Americans who could benefit from physical therapy actually visit a physical therapist.

A lot of it comes down to the fact that people don’t realize that they can benefit from the services physical therapy provides. It’s easy to assume that physical therapy means rehabilitation, but as we’ve talked about in the past, there is so much more to physical therapy that people don’t realize. That’s one of the reasons you get this newsletter every month — education! Nothing beats a good education.

With that, I hope you have a wonderful summer! With near-perfect weather, I

know a lot of folks want to be out and about, walking, hiking, and just enjoying everything Southern California has to offer. If you’re anything like me, you’re already thinking about long walks up and down Newport Beach or heading out to Catalina Island for some hiking. It’s just important to remember to not overexert yourself — especially on those warmer days. When you need a break, take a break! And don’t forget to stay hydrated! See you out there! –Ann Steinfeld

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