The Baker Beacon

Posts Tagged ‘balance’

Staying Steady

Posted in The Baker Beacon

Staying Steady: Balance Problems and Treatment

It’s estimated that at any given moment, 6.2 million American adults struggle with a chronic problem of balance, dizziness, or both. And, the problem only increases with age.

Effective balance involved comfortably controlling and maintaining your body’s position when walking, climbing stairs, standing, or even sitting.

This grand balancing act is no easy process! It requires your muscles to work smoothly with several sensory systems. Any interruption or issue in any of these systems can lead to dizziness, loss of balance, and falls.

  • Vision: Eyes send impulses to the brain that provide visual cues identifying how a person is oriented relative to other objects.
  • Somatic System: With any movement of the legs, arms, and other body parts, sensory receptors respond by sending impulses to the brain. These impulses help our brain determine where our body is in space.
  • Auditory System: Nerve signals from your inner ear are sent to the brain with more information about your body’s motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation.

As we grow older, these systems also weaken. Our eyesight fades and our muscles ability to sense surroundings declines. So, balance problems can come from a variety of physical and neurological issues.

The good news, however, is that balance problems aren’t something you just have to live with.

Depending on the cause, your doctor can prescribe a variety of treatments including diet and lifestyle changes, balances retraining exercises, medication, or even cognitive behavioral therapy.

At Baker Rehab Group, we provide balance treatment through physical therapy.

Under the guidance of our trained professionals, patients participate in exercises that involve specific movements of the head and body. These exercises teach the brain and body how to compensate for any weaknesses helping reduce the effects of balance problems. Contact Baker Rehab Group’s Brain & Balance Center to learn more about our treatment options.

Playing Catch Can Improve Balance, Prevent Falls In Seniors

Posted in The Mind Of John

Our awesome PT, NCS, DPT, Katie Stout, shared this article with me, so I wanted to pass it along. Very interesting! Your thoughts?

“Research: Playing Catch Can Improve Balance, Prevent Falls In Seniors

The simple training exercise of catching a weighted medicine ball can improve balance and might help prevent falls in the elderly, according to recent research.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago reported findings from two studies on the websites of two journals: Electromyography and Kinesiology, and Experimental Brain Research.

When someone is jostled by a bump or a stumble, the brain uses two strategies to maintain balance and prevent a fall, according to Alexander Aruin, PhD, professor of physical therapy at UIC and principal investigator on the two studies.

‘When the perturbation is predictable, for example, if when walking down the street you see someone about to bump into you, you brace yourself,’ Aruin said in a news release. This is the first strategy, in which the brain activates muscles in anticipation of the jolt.” Read more…