Health Blog

Is Your Balance Setting You Up For An Injury?

injury

It’s what gives us the ability to walk on two legs and stays with us our entire life, balance. Our balance and vestibular system develop as we grow from a baby all the way through adulthood, and then begin to decline. Most people don’t know their balance is not optimum until they suffer a sports injury, trip and fall, or lose their balance in the shower. No matter what your age, balance affects your ability to be active.

 

Can you do this?

  • Stand next to a counter or sink barefoot with your hand gently grasping the counter surface.
  • Put one foot directly in front of the other, so that one heel is touching the opposite toes.
  • Gently lift your hand up, but keep it close to the counter in case you need to grab it quickly. Try to hold this for 10 seconds (only do this if you feel safe or have someone nearby to help you).
  • Now try it with you eyes closed.
  • Do you wobble a lot or even lose your balance? Your balance needs work!

 

There are many reasons for our decline in balance:

  • Changes in our vestibular system
  • Changes in muscle mass, flexibility and strength
  • Changes in eyesight
  • Diminishing reflexes
  • Previous injuries to ankle, knee, hip or spinal joints

 

How balance affects sports performance

The more aggressive you are in sports, the better your balance and reflexes have to be. Many ankle, knee, hip and back injuries in running, tennis and other sports are attributed to poorly performing balance. By incorporating simple balance exercises into your workout routine, you can set yourself up for success and prevent injuries, as well as enhance your sports performance.

 

How balance affects back pain

How you walk directly impacts your back and can actually be a big contributor to back pain. By improving balance, coordination and strength in your hips, pelvis and legs, your spine will be supported and guided, reducing strain. This in turn, helps your back function normally without aggravation and inflammation. Balance activities are an important component of our SPINE Program for relieving back pain.

 

Preventing falls

According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), over 2.5 million adults were treated for nonfatal injuries in emergency departments in 2013. In older adults, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Most people don’t think about keeping their balance in shape, until it is too late and they fall, fracturing an arm, leg or injuring their back. The good news is that most falls can easily be prevented, simply by the regular exercising of your balance system.


What you can do

You can improve your balance, and it involves performing simple balance exercises. Try this easy exercise to strengthen your balance:

 

Calf Raise

  • Stand facing and lightly touching a wall with your hands.
  • Slowly raise up and down on your toes.
  • Repeat 10 times, rest, then do 2-3 more sets.
  • Try without holding on for a greater challenge.

 

The first step in preventing an injury or fall is testing your balance and being honest with yourself that your balance needs work. Our physical therapists can make a big difference in improving your balance and vestibular system, improving your ability to be active, safely. Call Orthopedic and Balance Therapy today to learn more about our specialized programs and how you can get back to an active, pain free lifestyle!

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Our Reviews
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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