Condition: Balance Dizziness
One in three adults may face challenges due to balance problems or dizziness. Although not as common, children and teenagers can be affected as well. Our balance is impacted by several parts of the body: the eyes, inner ear, the brain and the muscles and joints of the legs and feet.
When the balance disorder stems from the inner ear, treatment is often referred to as “vestibular rehabilitation”. The vestibular system refers to the chambers, tubes and nerves that make up the inner ear. The movement and position of our head, as well as the pull of gravity are sensed by this part of our body. If this area has been injured, impacted by a specific disease, or affected by the process of aging, balance can become a challenge. Vision problems can similarly affect our ability to control our movement and maintain our balance. Glaucoma, cataracts or eye-movement disorders are a few examples of vision conditions that can cause this type of problem.
Sometimes balance issues result from a lack of proper signaling from the brain to the legs and feet. These signaling nerves are called propriocepters. Traumatic brain injuries, strokes and other injuries can interrupt this communication. Sometimes balance issues can result from imbalances or weakness of the leg or foot, especially if dizziness is NOT present.
Exercise programs may be recommended to help strengthen and balance out these areas, such as Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT), which promotes central nervous system compensation through the use of specific exercises. VRT can help long-term patients as well as those with an acute or sudden loss of vestibular function and restore balance while lessening dizziness.
If you have been diagnosed with balance dizziness or suspect that you have this condition, you should contact your health provider or PhysioHealth as soon as possible. Our integrative medicine team and unique multi-specialty clinic in Kent, Washington can help. Patients who consistently exercise and apply the suggestions received at physical therapy enjoy greater comfort and an improved quality of life.