Being able to stay upright and walk around without issue is one of the fundamental parts of the human experience. However, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to do this without issue continually. At Free Body Physical Therapy, we understand that several problems can cause someone to suffer from balance problems. Fortunately, we have the means of correcting these issues. With our trained physical therapists’ help, we will teach you to perform the balance issues that best help with fall prevention.
Common Balance Problems
Before diving into the beneficial exercises you should perform, our team would first like to discuss the problems that can lead to balance issues. With so many balance issues a person can face, you must understand them if you want the best chance at avoidance. While every patient and case of balance issues are different, the most common causes of this phenomenon include:
- Vestibular neuritis.
- Muscular imbalances.
- Head injuries.
- Joint instability.
- General weakness.
One of the best parts about balance exercises is that most of them can be completed in the comfort of your own home, such as the ones we will go on to list below. However, it’s essential to consult with your physical therapist before trying to attempt them, as even mundane exercises can cause serious issues. Once they have given you the okay, feel free to try and complete any of the below to help with your fall prevention efforts:
- Place a piece of string flat out and straight across the floor.
- Keep your arms held out wide to your sides.
- Staying on the string, slowly walk across it while placing one foot in front of the other. Don’t let your feet stray from the straight line.
- Walk at least 15 steps in one direction.
- If you feel comfortable, try doing the same thing while walking backward. If not, turn around and walk back to the starting point.
- Start by standing straight up with both feet flat on the floor.
- Using a chair or wall for support if need be, slowly begin to raise your left leg until your knee reaches a ninety-degree angle.
- Hold this position for at least 15 seconds while focusing on keeping your body in a straight line.
- Slowly bring your left leg down and repeat this process with your right leg.
- Perform this exercise at least ten times on each leg.
Single-Leg Cross Body Punches
- If you have a pair of light dumbbells, grab one in each hand. If not, perform the next steps without them.
- Place all of your weight on your left foot and get down into a quarter squat position.
- Keeping your balance and core tight, punch your arms across your body one at a time.
- Be sure to punch at least 10 to 20 times.
- Once completed, perform the same steps but on your right leg this time.
- Perform 1 to 3 sets on each leg.
Chair Leg Raises
- If you feel comfortable doing so, put on a pair of ankle weights. If not, complete the exercise with just your body weight.
- Start by sitting in a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor.
- Slowly raise and straighten out your left leg.
- Hold it straight in the air for at least 5 seconds before slowly returning it to the ground.
- Repeat the same process with your right leg.
- Perform 1 to 3 sets of 20 repetitions on each leg.
Patients who are concerned with their balance shouldn’t wait to seek help. Falls can lead to devastating injuries, which is why they need to be avoided when possible. At Free Body Physical Therapy, we can help with this treatment. To learn more about the importance of balance exercises and how we can help, contact us today.