Balance 101


woman practicing yogaWhat is balance?

Balance is the ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support or the even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

How does it work?

Balancing, like anything else we do is all controlled by the brain. There are three different systems that play a crucial role in balance and give the brain input as to what to do.

1. The Vestibular System:

This is a complex system located in the inner ear. It sends the brain information about your head/body motions, where you are in space, and other movements.

Example: The feeling of spinning when you get off a roller coaster or that feeling of rocking on a boat even when you’re already off the boat and on land.

2. Proprioception:

Proprioception is a sense that allows you to know where your body is while doing various tasks. Proprioceptors, or receptors of this type of information, are located throughout your muscles, joints, and ligaments. They get feedback from your environment and send it to your brain. It also allows you to control your arms, legs, and body without directly looking at them.

Example: The task of driving. Being able to look up and around, while maintaining the right pressure on the gas, brake and steering wheel without having to look at your hands and feet. This is made possible by many systems, proprioception being one of them.

3. The Visual System

This system is your vision or your eyes. This system and its purpose should be the easiest to understand as it is self-explanatory. Our eyes give us the ability to see and observe our environment–crucial in to maintaining balance.

What can PT do for you?

Balance is something we here at AOSMI work on quite a bit with our patients, especially the elderly. While balance is something that will naturally decline with age, do not be discouraged because it is something that can be worked on and improved!

Physical therapy will consist of evaluating the many factors involved in balance, such as the systems mentioned above, as well as, assessing strength, other conditions you may have, medications that may affect your balance, and other factors. Together we will create a plan and work with you to improve your balance. Come visit any of our three locations conveniently located in Lake Como, Red Bank & Manalapan and “experience the finest” in balance treatment!

Posted in: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Physical Therapy

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