It's Balance Week!
It’s balance week, which gives us an opportunity to reach out to the community and offer some guidelines and tips about balance, home safety, and fall prevention.
There are some easy ways to determine if you are a good candidate for a physical therapy evaluation. Here is a short checklist:
Have you fallen in the past year?
Do you struggle with your balance or walking?
Have you decided to use a cane or a walker without the advice of a physician?
Do you ever have lightheadedness or dizzy spells?
If you or a loved one answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, there are many options available to help prevent or avoid dizzy spells and falls. If you have a problem with dizziness or balance, your quality of life can be significantly enhanced by identifying the cause and getting the treatment you need through a physical therapy evaluation.
Breaking a risk cycle
As an example, many seniors become less physically active due to a fear of falling. Yet, engaging in physical activity decreases the risk of falling. By identifying and implementing a physical therapy program, the cycle can be broken. A senior can enjoy activities once more and be less at-risk.
Remember in one of our previous blogs, we mentioned that balance is cooperation between eyes, inner ears, and skin and muscles of the body? One of the culprits which can exacerbate balance problems is poor vision. The reason is that the brain uses vision as a means to calibrate your movements. Sometimes, balance problems can be the result of poor eyesight, but other times, it can be the result of wearing bifocals, since the lower lenses are meant to help you read a book, not to walk down a flight of stairs. Because bifocals impair depth perception, a patient who is aware that their lower lens might be confusing their brain can learn to improve their balance.
One of the tools used by health professionals to assess the risk of falling is mental health screening. Life satisfaction, social happiness, and interpersonal interaction all correlate to a decrease in potential for an older person to fall. It’s safe to say that if a senior gets depressed, he is more likely to fall than one who is happy.
If the balance issue is caused by the mechanisms of the vestibular system in the inner ear, a physical therapist can work with the patient to control their sensory perception.
A person with dizziness, vestibular problems or balance problems does not need to suffer. There is help available which can eliminate or significantly reduce these issues. The essential key to relief is to get help from a professional who has the expertise necessary.
Let us help! You’ll be glad you did.
Want to take a step toward better balance? Please call Touchstone Rehabilitation at 602-277-1073.