Our ability to balance starts out low, but it develops over time. This is why most people go from crawling to sitting up to walking as children. However, our balance also tends to start degrading as we get older.
In some studies, it has been estimated that more than 20% of adults experience dizziness and vertigo annually. These and other balance issues tend to get worse as people age. Our physical therapists can help you learn how to improve your balance with a type of therapy called vestibular rehabilitation.
Three components are key to how vestibular rehabilitation goes about improving your balance
Many older people are likely wondering how they can improve their balance, especially if they’ve fallen and injured themselves. Unfortunately, falls and injuries are all too common for seniors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every year more than 25% of people over 65 fall. These falls lead to injuries in more than 3 million older people annually.
Reducing the risk of falls and fall injuries are two goals of vestibular rehabilitation. This type of therapy plan typically includes three components:
Gaze stabilization — This first component is intended to improve your control over your eye movements. Improving gaze stability is important for increasing your ability to balance; it’s easier to lose your balance if you can’t focus your eyes while moving. Gaze stabilization is achieved through specific eye exercises, and these can be very effective. One study found that 90% of the patients who used gaze stabilization exercises had a significant reduction in their fall risk.
Habituation — The goal of this component is to get your body used to movements that cause dizziness and vertigo. Habituation exercises do so by moving your body in ways that provoke these symptoms. Over time, these exercises can help retrain the brain to ignore the abnormal signals that certain movements cause. These exercises can start to improve your balance in as little as six weeks.
Balance training — This component is intended to help improve your balance during normal daily activities. It achieves this by helping to strengthen muscles, improve coordination and increase reaction time. One study reveals that balance training was able to reduce falls that cause serious injuries by 43%.
Visit Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation to learn how to improve your balance with vestibular rehabilitation
Are you wondering where you can find a physical therapy team to help you learn how to improve your balance with vestibular rehabilitation? Look no further than Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation. Our therapy specialists can perform a complimentary screening to reveal what issues are affecting your balance.
We can then build you a personalized vestibular rehabilitation plan designed to help improve it. You can even meet with us at home thanks to our virtual care and at-home therapy services, and you don’t have to get a referral from your doctor before using any of our services.
Contact our team today for more vestibular rehabilitation information or to schedule an initial appointment.