What are Balance Exercises?
Balance exercises are exercises which are prescribed by a physiotherapist to challenge your balance in order to improve it. Balance exercises will challenge the body’s vestibular system and the musculoskeletal system. They aim to improve the body’s ability to maintain posture and centre of gravity and to improve muscle reaction time and joint proprioception (the body’s ability to recognise where the joints and limbs are in space).
What are the benefits of Balance Exercises?
If you have balance problems a physiotherapy assessment and balance exercises programme will be of benefit to you. There are many benefits of balance exercises which are:
- Improved static balance
- Improved dynamic balance
- Improved joint proprioception
- Improved muscle reaction time – increasing the body’s ability to react to balance challenging situations
- Reduced risk of falls
- Improved function – tasks can be done outside of the base of support without risk
- Decreased muscle compensation – muscles can become overactive to compensate for poor balance
- Improved mobility – improved balance will increase mobility and improve energy efficiency
What do Balance Exercises Include?
Balance exercise programmes are focused on challenging a person’s balance to develop the vestibular and musculoskeletal system. Balance exercise programmes will include:
- Exercises on different terrain
- Exercises on different bases of support e.g. one foot, on a wobble board
- Exercises with no visual feedback
- Exercises that are out of your base of support e.g. reaching
- Exercises that are out of your base of support whilst moving (dynamic exercises)
Who would benefit from Balance Exercises?
Many people would benefit from a physiotherapy assessment and balance exercise programme. People with the following conditions and injuries would benefit from balance exercises:
- Pre surgery – improve balance as a period of immobility may follow which would decrease balance post operatively
- Post-surgery – as immobility can decrease balance
- Following surgery – lower limb affects gait and upper limb surgery will be guarded therefore can alter balance
- Ligament sprain and muscle strain (especially close to joints) – this can affect the body’s proprioceptive receptors affecting balance
- Elderly population who have reduced mobility
- Neurological conditions – Parkinson’s disease
- Head injuries
Balance problems can affect your ability to function in normal activities of daily living. A physiotherapy assessment and balance exercise programme can help to improve balance and function. If you think you would benefit from a balance exercise programme or would like to speak to a qualified physiotherapist for further information please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 where you can also arrange an appointment. Alternatively, you may book an appointment online today!