Balance (also known as vestibular) therapy is designed to address balance and dizziness-related issues such as:
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty walking
- Trouble with basic daily activities
Balance problems can quickly cause loss of function and deterioration in both physical and social areas. Physical therapy is an effective way to improve balance problems and reduce the complications associated with these disorders. Physical therapy can significantly reduce the risk for falls and improve independence at home and in the community.
Evaluating Your Balance
Balance is a highly complex function requiring many systems to work together. A balance evaluation includes assessment of the vestibular, musculoskeletal, proprioceptive and visual systems followed by formulation of a treatment plan specific to the patient’s particular disorder.
Treatment to Improve Your Balance
Specific treatments may focus on any or all of these systems in order to improve a person’s balance. Therapy may include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Gait training (learning the normal walking pattern with or without an assistive device)
- Balance challenging exercises (standing or moving with less support, on an unsteady surface, with eyes closed or during head movements
- Maneuvers to stimulate normal vestibular (inner ear) and occulom motor (visual) functioning.