Good balance is often taken for granted. Most people don’t find it difficult to walk across a gravel driveway, transition from walking on a sidewalk to grass, or get out of bed in the middle of the night without stumbling. However, with impaired balance such activities can be extremely fatiguing and sometimes dangerous. Symptoms that accompany the unsteadiness can include dizziness, vertigo, hearing and vision problems, and difficulty with concentration and memory.

What is balance?

Balance is the ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support.

A normally functioning balance system permits humans to see clearly while moving, perceive orientation in relation to gravity, determine direction and speed of movement, and automatically make postural adjustments to maintain posture and stability in various conditions and activities.

Balance is attained and maintained by a complex set of sensorimotor control systems that include Sensory Inputs and Motor Outputs from:

Sensory Inputs:

  • Eyes – vision (sight),
  • Proprioception (touch) – from eyes, muscles and joints
  • The vestibular system (motion, equilibrium, spatial orientation);
  • Integration of Sensory Input
  • Processing conflict sensory input

Motor Outputs:

  • Muscles and joints
  • Eyes

In addition to the contributions from Sensory Input and Motor Output; other factors that affect sense of Balance includes:

  • Injury
  • Disease
  • Certain drugs
  • Aging process or
  • Psychological factors

How does our balance system work?

The ear has three main parts: the external or outer ear (the visible part on the outside), the middle ear (the main function of which is to transmit sound from the outer to the inner ear), and the inner ear (the labyrinth). The balance system is a complex system of nerves, small tubes called semicircular canals, and fluid inside the labyrinth. It includes parts of the brain and other components.

Maintaining balance is a complex function. The brain needs to know how feet and legs are positioned in relation to chest and shoulders. This information is conveyed to the brain by movement and position detectors located in muscles, tendons and joints, particularly in the neck, ankles, legs and hips.

Causes of Balance Disorder

Post-traumatic vertigo this is generally seen after Trauma to the head or Minor Head Injuries.

Central neurological disorders People with Neurological Conditions such as Stroke, M.S, inflammation, or tumours can cause dizziness and balance problems. Other less common causes are bony deformities at the back of the head and the top of the spine.

How can Rehab Basics Help?

Rehab Basics will work with the client to plan a personalised treatment sessions once detailed assessment is carried out. Treatment Plan will include some of the following exercise’s:

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation is to help the development of vestibular compensation by doing Vestibular Rehabilitation exercises.
  • Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises include relaxing the neck and shoulder muscles, training the eyes to move independently of the head, practising good balance in everyday situations, practising the head movements that cause dizziness (to help the development of vestibular compensation.
  • Gaze stabilization exercises is to improve vision and the ability to focus on a stationary object while the head is moving.
  • Canalith repositioning procedures (CRP) involves a series of head and upper body movements performed by a trained specialist who watches your eye movements with each change of position.

Treatment Sessions are offered in clinics across Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes or at Home Environment.

For further information about our service or to book an appointment with Rehab Basics please contact us