RX PT. How's Your Balance?



L I V E A H A P P I E R & H E A LT H I E R L I F E W I T H P H Y S I C A L T H E R A P Y !

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 balance is affected, it can be difficult to perform daily tasks and activities you enjoy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Thirty million older adults fall each year—resulting inabout30,000deaths.Eachyear, 3 million older adults are treated for a fall injury. One out of every five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.” Dizziness and vertigo are common reasons why someone may experience issues with balance or sustain an unexpected fall. We’ve all had the sensation of being dizzy - as if you can’t focus, can’t see straight, can’t stand upright without swaying or falling. You may even experience “tunnel vision,” where your peripheral vision goes dark for a few seconds.

head cold or the flu. Dizziness can also occur from something as simple as standing up too quickly after an extended period of rest. Some accompanying symptoms to dizziness may include: • Loss of balance • Lightheadedness or heavy-headedness • Momentarily impaired vision (i.e. tunnel vision) • Feeling woozy or faint The causes of vertigo aren’t nearly as vast. In fact, vertigo is most commonly caused by an imbalance in the inner ear, also known as the “vestibularsystem.”Yourvestibularsystemhelps you maintain your balance and center of gravity by sending messages to your brain regarding your movement. For more information about how RX Physical Therapy can help you, call us at 269.769.6108 or visit rxphysicaltherapy.com.

Dizziness is common and can have many causes. Vertigo,however, isa littledifferent.Whiledizziness is typically synonymous with “lightheadedness,” whichcreatesthe illusionofbeingunsteady,vertigo istypicallyaresponsetoaphysiological factorthat is causing a quite literal imbalance in your body. Those experiencing vertigo have reported feeling as if they are “rocking” or “spinning,” even when they are sitting still. Physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo is a common and effective course of treatment. For inquiries regarding vertigo testing, don’t hesitate to contact RX Physical Therapy. If you’ve been feeling dizzy, or you think you may have some of the symptoms of vertigo, call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physical therapists. WHY IS MY BALANCE COMPROMISED BY DIZZINESS AND/OR VERTIGO? Just a few of the many factors that can lead to dizziness include lack of sleep, poor nutrition, overexertion, or a physical ailment, such as a

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WHAT ’S CAUSING YOUR BALANCE ISSUE? Whenyourvestibularsystem is impaired, thenecessarymessagesbecome blocked from your brain, and your movement becomes affected. You may feel as if the world is spinning around you, you can’t focus your vision for prolonged periods of time, or you can’t stand/move properly without feeling like you’ll topple over. Some common causes of vertigo include: • Benignparoxysmalpositionalvertigo(BPPV). This isthemostcommon cause of vertigo. It occurs when the tiny calcium crystals located in your ears break apart and move around to different parts of the ear that they are not supposed to be in. This can cause sudden spinning sensations (vertigo) and inner-ear discomfort. HOW WILL PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP? Dizziness and vertigo can both hinder your balance, limiting your ability to perform even the simplest of tasks. Luckily, no matter what the cause may be, physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo can help. RX Physical Therapy has some of the most advanced techniques for diagnosing and treating both dizziness and vertigo, including vestibular rehabilitation and videonystagmography. Vestibular rehabilitation includes treatments such as the Epley maneuver, whichallows forcanalithrepositioning tomove thebrokencalciumcrystals inpatientsexperiencingBPPV,aswellasCawthorneheadexercises,which focus on decreasing nerve sensitivity and improving vertigo.

• Meniere’s disease. This occurs when fluid builds up in your ear(s). This typically includes “ringing” sounds in the inner-ear and sudden waves of vertigo that may last for hours. You may also experience momentary hearing losses. • Vestibularneuritis. This isan inner-ear infectionthatcancausevertigo. • Migraines. Migrainescan impactyourvestibularsystem, thuscausing episodes of vertigo which may be coupled with sensitivities to light or sound. Vision may also be impaired. • Stroke. Astrokeaffectsmovement inyourwholebody. Ifyourecently suffered a stroke, you may experience waves of vertigo which may linger for extended periods of time. Some accompanying symptoms to vertigo may also include: • Inability to focus or remain alert. • Double vision. • Nausea or vomiting. • Arm or leg weakness. • Difficulty seeing or speaking. • Sweating. • Abnormal eye movements.

Videonystagmography is a highly specialized diagnostic tool for testing innerear functions.This testdetermineswhetheryourdizzinessorvertigo is being caused by a vestibular disease, and it is the only test available that can decipher whether there is a vestibular loss in one or both ears. It is a non-invasive test that uses infrared goggles to record a patient’s eye movements, thus determining how well the patient is able to react to visual stimuli responses that are being sent from the vestibular system. Physical therapy is very important to strengthening joints and learning the right exercises to relieve dizziness and vertigo, in order to improve balance. A professional can help you develop a program that plays into your strengths while increasing your ability to balance and reduce bouts of unsteadiness. Contact RX Physical Therapy today to get started!

For more information about how RX Physical Therapy can help you, call us at 269.769.6108 or visit rxphysicaltherapy.com.


Are you experiencing pain or limited mobility while running? Are you looking for ways to improve your stride and keep your joints healthy and pain-free? You’re invited to take part in our Run Recovery Workshop every Monday at 11 am . We look forwarding to seeing you there! To learn more about this and other events happening at RX Physical Therapy, call our clinic at 269.769.6108 or follow us on social media @physicaltherapyrx.


Schedule your consultation with your physical therapist today to start living pain-free!



Oneof themostcommonconcerns inpatients with dizziness and vertigo who complete a vestibular rehabilitation program is, “Will my results last?” Researchsuggests that,with theproperpost- therapy exercise, patients who successfully complete vestibular rehab will maintain their positive results long after leaving a physical therapist’s office. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The aim of vestibular rehab is to improve function and balance while reducing dizziness. This is especially important in older patients who already bear a higher risk of falls as a result of age-related neuropathy, vestibular dysfunction and a host of other conditions. As a result, those who have experienced a positive outcome as a result of vestibular rehab are often reluctant to leave the care of clinicians. To assuage this anxiety and extend the outcome of rehab, physical therapists will often prescribe a home-based exercise program that reinforces therapeutic processes. THE MODE DOESN’T MATTER In a study published in Rehabilitation Research and Practice, elderly patients who

completed vestibular rehabilitation were randomly assigned a print-based exercise program or a computer-based exercise program to determine which mode helped patients preserve function, reduced dizziness and improved the patient’s quality of life. Patient compliance was equivalent in both modes and patients achieved no noticeable differences in outcomes. What researchers did observe was that an at-home exercise program is vital to the patient’s quality of life three months after being discharged from the hospital or other therapeutic setting. Bottom line, patients who are experiencing dizziness and vertigo will not experience improvement without intervention. This is especially true in elderly patients whose functional outcomes are vital to their quality of life. Vestibular rehabilitation as performed by a physical therapist is the most effective wayofproviding theseoutcomesandahome- based exercise program upon release from physical therapy is the best way to maintain them over time. Source: Smaerup,Michael,etal. “TheUseofComputer-AssistedHomeExercises to Preserve Physical Function after a Vestibular Rehabilitation Program: A RandomizedControlledStudy.”Rehabilitationresearchandpractice2016 (2016). PATIENT OUTCOMES DON’T IMPROVE ON THEIR OWN



• 4 cloves garlic peeled • 2-in cube ginger (about 30 grams) , roughly chopped • 1 small sweet onion peeled, quartered • 1 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp butter • 21/2 lbs boneless, chicken thighs • 2 cans coconut milk • 2 tbsp cornstarch

• 1 can baby corn cobs • 1 cup frozen veggies Spice Blend • 1/2 tsp ground pepper • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp ground coriander • 11/2 tsp ground tumeric • 1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS Combine spices together and set aside. In a food processor, pulse garlic, ginger and onion until it forms a paste. In a skillet, heat olive oil and melt butter. Add pureed aromatics and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Move aromatics to one side of the skillet and add chicken pieces. Cook chicken slightly on all sides and thoroughly coat it with the spices. Transfer the skillet ingredients into a slow cooker. Remove the cream from the top of the coconut milk using a soup spoon and set aside. Pour the remaining coconut milk over the chicken until it barely covers it. Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to the slow-cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream (previously set aside) until smooth and add to the chicken, stirring well. Add frozen peas or other vegetables of your choice. Cook for another 1/2 hour or until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are hot.


I M P R O V E Y O U R B A L A N C E !

BALANCE | ANKLE STRATEGY Stand with good posture. Sway backwards and forwards keeping your knees and hips straight. Maintain your balance by using your ankles. Sway for 30 seconds. Rest. Repeat 5 times.

HIP ADDUCTOR STRETCH Begin in the side lunge position as shown. Your leg should be out to the side and slightly behind you, both feet flat on the floor. Keeping your back straight, lunge deeper to the side until you feel a stretch along the inside of your leg. Hold for 3-6 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.



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