Finding Your Balance
Good balance is not only important to decrease your risk of falls, but it will help your overall physical health and sports performance. It can help enhance your agility and speed with sports such as soccer, softball and running. Balance is made up of different components: vision, strength, proprioception, and your vestibular system.
Vision can affect your balance. Getting your eyes checked or simply turning on a light so you can see your surroundings better can enhance your balance and reduce your risk of falling.
Strength is your muscles ability to contract and produce force. Core and leg strength has the greatest influence on your balance. This can be tested and focused on in your exercise program and physical therapy.
Your proprioceptive or position sense is how you know where one of your limbs is in space. Examples are how you can close your eyes and touch your nose, or how you can change the radio station in your car without taking your eyes off the road. Any injury can diminish your proprioceptive sense.
Your vestibular system is part of your inner ear that affects your spatial orientation, or how you can turn your head without the objects in your visual field becoming blurry.
By training each individual component, you can enhance your balance and stability. In physical therapy we will provide you with exercises that will strengthen your legs and core, as well has work on your proprioception. Other activities such as yoga and Tai Chi or even just standing on one leg can help you enhance your balance.