Loss of balance and falls can be prevented if individuals take measures to protect themselves, much as they do against health conditions such as heart disease. At Preneta Physical Therapy our balance classes provide an assessment and treatment plan created by a licensed physical therapist.
Loss of balance and limitations in mobility can be effectively prevented, reversed, or delayed by physical therapist treatment and Balance Training classes. A comprehensive balance assessment performed by a physical therapist can determine factors that contribute to an individual's loss of mobility, risk for falls, and/or decreased confidence and we can determine whether our classes are right for you or whether you need an individual plan of care.
Our Balance Training will include exercises to improve strength, aerobic capability, flexibility, proper gait, and the function of the vestibular (balance) system. We will also conduct balance training and fear management.
Although an individual's age is a risk factor for falling, falls are not an inevitable part of aging.
Why Should I be Concerned about Balance?
Each year, 1 in 3 seniors over the age of 65 experiences at least one fall; and,
Each year, 1 in 2 seniors over the age of 80 experiences a fall.
Don't be part of the statistics. Preneta PT's Physical Therapists, experts in mobility and motion, will help you understand what you can do to:
Prevent Falls – Reduce Your Risk of Falling!
Increase Your Physical Activity and Mobility Level!
Modify Your Home to Create a Safer Environment.
Physical Therapy and the Balance System
How Does the Balance System Work?
Your sense of balance comes from many different systems working together to create stability of your body and your vision. Good balance depends on correct sensory information, proper use of the sensory information by the brain, and the correct response from the muscles. The sensory information that is needed comes from your visual, somatosensory, and vestibular systems:
Your vision provides important information to the brain about your environment - specifically where your body is in relation to the horizon while still or moving.
You have special sensors sensitive to stretch, pressure, vibration,
and touch in your muscles, tendons, joints, and skin that help your brain to know how your
body is positioned.
These balance organs in the inner ear tell the brain about the movements and
position of your head. This system senses head movement and keeps your eyes focused. It
also tells the brain when your head is moving in a straight line (like when you are riding in
a car or going up or down in an elevator) and senses the position of your head even when it is
still (if it is upright or tilted).
Putting it all Together
Information about your current state from all of these systems travels to the brain stem. The brain
stem also gets information from other parts of the brain, mostly about previous experiences that
affect your sense of balance. Your brain can control balance by using the information that is most
important for a particular situation. For example, in the dark, when the information from your eyes is reduced or might not be accurate, your brain will use more information from your legs and your inner ear. If you are walking on a sandy beach during the day, the information coming from your legs and feet will be less reliable and your brain will use more information from your visual and vestibular systems.
Once your brain stem sorts out all of this information, it sends messages to the eyes and other parts
of your body to move in a way that will help you keep your balance and have clear vision while you
How a Physical Therapist can Help
If you feel dizzy, off balance, or have fallen, a physical therapist can help to determine how well you
are using these systems (or not) to keep your balance. The physical therapist may instruct you in
specific exercises that address the problem and improve how your body uses all these systems
Getting to Physical Therapy
If you are a Medicare patient, talk to your primary care physician about your balance or dizziness. They can prescribe physical therapy if they think it is the correct course of action for you. Otherwise, contact Preneta Physical Therapy directly and we can schedule you for an evaluation and communicate with your doctor.
Balance Training Classes
6 week programs with classes twice a week - Tuesday and Thursday 11:00am-12:00pm
Free Balance assessment by a Physical Therapist are completed on each participant prior to the start of their program.*
Each class will include:
Stretching, Dynamic Stretching, Balance Activities and Strength Training and Cool Down.
Cost: $100 per person
Call the office today to schedule!
*During assessment, if we find that one on one balance and strength training is recommended, we will talk to you and your doctor about creating an individual program to address your specific individual needs.
Acknowledgment: Shannon L. Hoffman, PT, DPT
All contents © 2010 American Physical Therapy Association