Studies have shown that 40% of us will have a balance issue at some point in our lives. Some of these issues will be the catalyst for us to see our physician. A balance disorder is a condition making one feel unsteady or dizzy. Any number of things may cause a balance disorder including:
- Ear infection
- Head injury
- Low blood pressure
- Eye/Vision problems
- Inner ear condition
- Brain disorder
- Weak muscles or bones
Proper balance is important to daily living. A good sense of balance helps us bend over without falling, rise from a chair without tumbling, turn without tipping over, and walk without stumbling. Balance is critical to maintain our independence and enjoy our daily life. Good balance functions as a result of many systems in our body working in harmony. The eyes, ears (vestibular system), and sense of surroundings, when working properly together, help us to stay upright. These tell the brain how to work with our musculoskeletal system and maintain balance.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says one-third of adults over 65 fall each year and among those even older, falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths. As we age, our sense of balance can deteriorate, however, there are some simple things we can do to slow the process.
- Keep moving. One of our physicians’ favorite phrase is “motion is lotion”. Exercise is, indeed, our best defense against many conditions.
- Build balance. Try standing on one leg for 30 seconds, increasing your time each day. Stay close to a counter or table for support.
- Biking helps bone density and strengthens your muscles to help avoid falls.
- Proper stretching of your calves will build strength and stability in legs and feet.
- If you’re able, plank exercises help build your core.
With any exercise program or even increasing your daily activity, it’s advisable to consult your physician first and discuss any limitations you might have. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we take care of your bones, joints, tendons, and muscles. Click HERE to learn more about us.