9 simple ways to improve your balance by Dr. Luke Gordon
Test Your 3 Balance Systems
Testing your 3 balance systems is a bit tricky to do on your own, but it can be done. Remember that the 3 systems include your vision, your sensation/proprioception and your inner ear. I’ll explain how to test each of the 3 below, but let me give you a word of caution first: when you test your balance on your own, you run the risk of falling. So if you’re interested in performing these tests, make sure you’re in a safe environment and that someone is nearby to help you correct your balance if needed.
Here are what we call the “Romberg” balance tests:
Position #1: stand on a firm surface with your feet together and eyes open
Position #2: stand on a firm surface with your feet together and eyes closed Position #3: stand on an unstable surface with your feet together and eyes open
Position #4: stand on an unstable surface with your feet together and eyes closed *
Use a piece of foam or a squishy pillow for an unstable surface. For a video explanation of the four positions, visit www.GordonPhysicalTherapy.com/4-balance-tests
How to interpret the tests: a person with “normal” balance should be able to perform each of the 4 positions with minimal difficulty for 30 seconds each. If you have difficulty with the first position, which is the easiest, you likely have more than one balance system involved. If you do fine with the first position but have difficulty with the second position, it’s likely that you’re visually dominant and have issues with both your sensation and inner ear. If you do just fine with the first 2 positions but then have difficulty with the third, you likely have issues with your sensation/proprioception, and possibly your inner ear as well. And finally, if you have difficult with the fourth position alone, you likely have some level of difficulty with your inner ear only.
This explanation is very confusing I’m sure, so read the final tip for a much better solution! – 7 – http://www.GordonPhysicalTherapy.com Published by Dr. Luke Gordon
9. Schedule a FREE “Balance and Falls Risk Assessment” with a Physical Therapist When it comes to fully understanding how to improve your balance and pinpointing which areas are specifically impacting it, there are so many factors to consider. Throughout this report, I’ve mentioned the “3 Balance Systems”, which play a huge role in proper balance. And I’ve also mentioned things like strength, flexibility, eyesight, inner ear dysfunction and side effects from medications (and we didn’t even discuss vertigo or other things like damage to your central nervous system, like a stroke!).
So when it comes to fully understanding what’s negatively impacting your balance, it can be quite confusing. For those people who want a more in-depth understanding of these potential balance factors before they decide how to improve their balance, we’ve developed a tool to help them get started: a FREE, 30-minute “Balance and Falls Risk Assessment” with one of our specially trained physical therapists.
So if you’re frustrated by not understanding why your balance has gotten so bad, and you want to get down to the ROOT CAUSE of your trouble before deciding how best to handle it, claiming your free assessment is likely the best place for you to start. To claim your FREE, 30-minute “Balance and Falls Risk Assessment”, simply call our office at (509) 892-5442.
During your free assessment, your physical therapist will help you understand 2 things:
1. The ROOT CAUSE(S) for your balance difficulties
2. What you can do to improve your balance immediately So again, if you’re ready to finally start taking control of your balance and are ready to get back to your active lifestyle, give us a call today at (509) 892-5442 to schedule your free 30-minute “Balance and Falls Risk Assessment”.
Well, there you have it: 9 of my best tips to help you improve your balance and reduce the likelihood of having a fall, all rolled into one tidy report! I hope you’ve found some value in this report and that it helps you live a more active lifestyle and allows you to stay as independent as possible. And while I could’ve gone into more detail in certain areas of the report, I hope you appreciate the nature of providing simple tips for immediate improvements. If you’ve read any of my newspaper articles, or you’ve watched my videos online, you already know that I like to provide a LOT of information. I’m not a big talker, it’s just that I have a lot to say 🙂 With that in mind, if you still have questions that you’d like to run by me about your balance, please feel free to send me an email at any time. I’ll be happy to share more advice and resources with you to help you along your way.
My contact information is below. Best of luck! Sincerely, Luke Gordon, DPT Luke Gordon, DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy Owner of Gordon Physical Therapy Email: Luke@GordonPhysicalTherapy.com Phone: (509) 892-5442 Address: Gordon Physical Therapy 626 North Mullan Rd., Suite 4 Spokane Valley, WA 99206 -:
How to “Fall Proof” the 5 Key Areas in Your Home Living Areas
Simple changes to your main living areas can dramatically reduce your risk for a fall in your home. Take a look at the layout of your furniture. Does it give you easy walkways, or do you find yourself walking around pieces to get where you are going? Do you have items that you can trip over that are in your way? Throw rugs can cause tripping easily if you catch your toe on them. Power cords should be tacked against the baseboard, and avoid having them run along the floor in your walking path.
Stairs and Steps Avoid leaving objects on the stairs at all costs! Make sure your stairs are well lit with light switches at the top and bottom. If you don’t have switches at both ends, an electrician can easily install them to assist you. Simple home maintenance is important as well. When was the last time the screws were tightened on your railing? Would it better serve you to add a second railing on the opposite side of the staircase?
Kitchen High cabinets can create problems. Reaching high overhead challenges your balance and forces you to stand on chairs that aren’t sturdy. Moving high items to lower shelves immediately reduces your fall risk. If you are unable to do so, having a sturdy step stool is a better option to reach those high places
Bedroom Place a lamp within reach while lying in bed so you can turn it on before you get out of bed. If the path from your bed to the bathroom is dark, have a night light that lights up when it’s dim in the house. Using a motion sensitive light requires you to already be up and walking before it activates, giving you an opportunity to lose your balance in the dark.
Bathroom Water and slick surfaces can be a disastrous combination. Non-slip strips in your bath and shower will give you extra stability without adding the bulk of a shower mat. They are cheap and can be purchased at any hardware store. A shower chair and shower wand will reduce the length of time standing in the shower. Lastly, installing grab bars is one of the most effective ways to ensure safety when getting into and out of the bath or shower. Many carpenters can install them quickly by your tub or toilet.
10 – http://www.GordonPhysicalTherapy.com Published by Dr. Luke Gordon Health Advice Disclaimer
I’ve made every effort to accurately represent the fall injury advice described throughout this report. However, examples of falls, injuries and their prognoses are based on typical representations of those injuries commonly seen at Gordon Physical Therapy. The information given is not intended as a representation of every individual’s potential fall likelihood or risk of injury. As with any injury, each person’s situation can vary widely and each person’s recovery from injury can also vary depending upon background, genetics, previous medical history, application of exercises, posture, motivation to follow therapist’s advice and various other physical factors.
It is impossible to give a 100% complete accurate diagnosis and prognosis without a thorough examination, and likewise the advice given for management or prevention of an injury cannot be deemed fully accurate in the absence of this examination from one of the Physical Therapists at Gordon Physical Therapy.
We are able to offer you this service at a standard charge. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your situation. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied in this report.