How Can Physical Therapy Help Improve My Balance?

When most people think of a session with our physical therapist Chicago, they think of improving strength and their range of motion. Well, there are actually more benefits that physical therapy has to offer, such as improving your balance. At Free Body PT, you can take part in physical therapy Chicago sessions at the convenience of our Wicker Park location. 

What is Balance? 

The body is able to stand up straight and remains balanced due to a number of systems in our body working together. If one of these systems fails or is off, your balance will be affected. The first system that has an effect on balance is your visual system. One must be able to see around their environment clearly to remain balanced. Sometimes a simple prescription for eyeglasses just doesn’t do the trick, and our physical therapist Chicago is what you need. Next, we have the vestibular system in the inner ear. Those with impaired hearing  lose their balance very easily. The vestibular system provides information to the brain based on the position of your head. The fluid inside each ear allows the brain to know when then the head is being moved or spun. The last system is the proprioceptive system; which involves the body’s joints and muscles. The nerve endings in the joints and muscles tell the brain when to contract and when it moves its position. When this system doesn’t work, the body can easily lose balance. Overall, any interruption or damage to any of these systems can cause one to feel unbalanced and wobbly. 

What Causes Balance Issues? 

Balance is an extremely important part of our everyday lives. Our balance is essential to allow us to get out of bed and walk from place to place. Without balance, completing everyday tasks will feel impossible. There are many conditions that can cause one to feel unstable and struggle with balance issues such as migraines, head injury, motion sickness, BPPV, Meniere’s disease, and many more. If you suffer from one or more of these conditions there are a number of symptoms you will experience quite often. They are:

  • Vertigo ( sense of spinning or motion)
  • Feeling of lightheadedness
  • Loss of balance 
  • Feeling like you might fall
  • Feeling a floating sensation 
  • Vision changes (blurriness) 
  • Confusion

Techniques to Improve Your Balance

If you suffer from a condition that affects your balance, our physical therapist Chicago can work with you to fix that. They can assess you to see which specific exercises are the best fit for you. There are four common basic exercises that many physical therapists use when improving the balance of their patients. The first exercise is walking a few steps and turning your head from side to side. This will challenge you to remain balanced while changing your visual field at the same time. The next exercise targets altering your visual system. The doctor/ physical therapist will hang up a picture with a crazy design (ex: checkerboard) and have you stare at it while walking backward. This photo can alter someone’s equilibrium making it harder to keep one’s balance. The next exercise is the single-leg stance; when one holds onto a chair or counter and lifts up one leg for a short amount of time. Once completed the patient can try again with the other leg, or even take their hands off the chair or counter. The last exercise is walking in a heel -toe pattern; forward and backward. This can be a bit difficult but can definitely improve one’s balance. 

Who Can Benefit from Balance PT? 

Many people can benefit from visiting our physical therapist Chicago by improving their balance. Those people that can benefit have a large range, which you can see below:

  • Older adults with limited functional mobility
  • People who have fallen/ fall often
  • Those who suffer from neurological conditions that can cause balance impairment ( ex: stroke)
  • Injured athletes 
  • Those who have undergone surgery  
  • Individuals that suffer from vertigo

Call Our Physical Therapist Chicago Today!

If you or someone you know suffers from any of these conditions call us today! We will improve your/their balance in no time. Our team of professionals is trained and educated to provide each of their patients with the best exercise treatments based on their assessment. We provide our physical therapy sessions in person and virtually, so you can complete your exercises anytime, anywhere. Many people enjoy our virtual sessions because they feel more comfortable and confident in their own homes. So check us out and schedule an appointment with one of our professionals, and we’ll have you living a balanced life in no time! Contact Free Body Physical Therapy today to learn more about how we can help!