Balance and Physical Therapy


Balance problems are one of many reasons that patients come into physical therapy clinics. Balance problems make it difficult for people to maintain stable and upright positions when performing activities that involve standing, walking, and even sitting. Unfortunately, as you get older, your risk for a balance problem raises exponentially; 75% of Americans older than 70 years are diagnosed as having “abnormal” balance. The good news though is that educated physical therapists can develop individualized physical activity plans to help improve the strength, stability, and mobility of people with your balance problems.

What Causes Balance Problems?

A balance problem exists when an individual has difficulty maintaining a stable and upright position due to certain factors such as:
• Muscle weakness
• Lack of motion at the joints
• Certain medications
• Inner ear problems
Certain medical conditions can also negatively influence someone’s balance. These include:
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Stroke/Traumatic Brain Injury
• Diabetes
• Cognitive disorders
To sum up what can cause a balance problem, it is where at least 1 of these 4 systems are not acting properly
• Vision/Sight
• Inner ear/vestibular system
• Proprioception (awareness of your own body position)
• Muscular system

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Physical therapists offer numerous options for treating your balance problems, based on each person’s needs. We are trained to evaluate multiple systems of the body, including the muscles, joints, inner ear, eye tracking ability, skin sensation, and position awareness in the joints (proprioception).

Your physical therapist here at AOSMI will be able to help treat your balance problems by identifying their specific root causes and designing an individualized treatment program to address your specific needs. Here are just some of the ways that they can help!
• Reduce Risk of Falling
• Examine footwear
• Help identify objects at home that may be a fall hazard
• Improve Confidence/Reduce Fear
• Aid when necessary
• Improve Mobility
• Improve Strength
• Improve Posture/Flexibility
• Improve Balance
• Both static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) balance
• Help in Other Areas
• Need for an assistive device such as a cane or walker

If you know someone who may be at risk for a fall or even you yourself are at risk, please don’t fail to have your concerns addressed. Falls can result in serious injury with potential for death. Here at AOSMI, we want to address these deficits with you and get you back to where your can do all your favorite activities, both safely and confidently!

Posted in: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Physical Therapy

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