Physiotherapy for Balance
To maintain our balance, our bodies rely on
- coordinated and strong muscles for stability and movement
- working sensory system throughout the tissues in our body including skin, muscles and joints
- visual and vestibular system to provide information about movement of the world around us and ourselves.
People with neurological problems such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and others, often have deficits in muscle strength and control, sensation, vision and/or vestibular processing resulting in difficulty with balance. Older adults or people who have recently had an extended hospital stay may also have similar problems.
When the ability to maintain balance is reduced people may describe a feeling of unsteadiness, or walk a little slower or change the way they walk. People may lose confidence and avoid some activities such as walking around a busy shopping centre. Having a fall may be the first sign to highlight the development of a balance problem.
Physiotherapy can assist with balance problems in many ways:
- strengthening muscles
- training coordination
- practicing balance tasks focussed on training sensory, visual and vestibular systems
- walking training and practice
- building fitness.
Individuals with neurological conditions such as stroke and older adults with multiple health conditions benefit from individualised physiotherapy assessments which provide for a tailored therapy program.
Individualised physiotherapy is key to improving walking, balance and preventing falls. One-to-one physiotherapy or a circuit training physiotherapy class can deliver tailored physiotherapy programs, including exercises suitable for home practise.