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Prevent Injuries By Improving Balance IS YOUR BAD BALANCE PUTTING YOU IN DANGER?

How well can you balance on one leg for 10 seconds? If you can’t, then it’s time to look closer at how your balance changes are affecting your body. Have you noticed you are tripping more, or having to fumble and reach for the walls at night? Do you ever feel a little unsteady on your feet, or find yourself shuffling? Does your back start to ache after standing for 10 minutes? These are all indicators of your balance reflexes starting to slow. ​Balance is a big deal in our everyday world, but we take it for granted. Just think how long it took you to master walking, running, and jumping as a child. Your balance system is incredibly complex, and allows you to walk around over steps, and obstacles without thinking. However, when your balance reflexes start to slow, it can set you up for a bad fall. Often, you realize your balance is bad when it is too late, and a fall has already happened. ​ ​Many people feel the symptoms of their balance reflexes changing in their late 30’s, when they begin to have backache after standing for a long time. Your balance plays a critical role in the health of your spine, supporting your low and upper back. ​ Given that back injuries bring interrupted sleep, additional aches and pains, and countless absences fromwork, most people would appreciate knowing a few strategies for avoiding such an outcome. Read on inside for some great tips on improving your balance and back health.

Being able to balance well can significantly reduce the number of back ​and lower extremity injuries. Consider this: Your body is far more able to handle unexpected changes, and uneven ground if you have a good sense of balance. Being able to do so results in far fewer falls, which are the number one cause of back injuries.​In addition, better balance allows your ankle, knee and hip joints to function better, without as much strain that can cause abnormal wear and tear.​ The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports, “in 2000, falls among older adults cost the U.S. healthcare system over $19 billion dollars or $30 billion in 2010 dollars. With the population aging, both the number of falls and the costs to treat fall injuries are likely to increase.” Additionally, by increasing muscle stability and coordination, your spine will have greater support and guidance, thereby reducing strain. In turn, your back is able to function appropriately without irritation and inflammation. Protect yourself from injuries by improving your balance and strength. It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone can benefit from stronger balance reflexes, just ask top athletes. Isn’t it time you handled your balance, before it becomes a bigger problem?

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