Every year, health care costs related to falls are estimated to reach between $50 and $100 billion dollars. According to the CDC more than 1/3 of older adults age of 65 years and up suffer a fall each year, with up to a third of those suffering significant injuries. Physical therapy has been shown to help reduce the risk of falls, as well as improve quality-of-life for patients whose activities are limited by poor balance and impaired gait.
Balance problems not only can put you at risk for more significant injuries, they also contribute to deconditioning which affects cardiovascular health, and they can affect overall self-esteem and sense of independence due to the fear of falling.
There are many body systems that are involved in balance including the neurological input from all of your joints, muscles, and bones, your vision, and the inner ear. These systems feed information to a part of the brain called the cerebellum that integrates the information in order to maintain balance both at rest and with movement. Unfortunately, impairments in any one of these systems can have a significant effect on your overall mobility and balance. The good news is that in many instances, physical therapy can help!
What is balance training?
Just like your muscles can get stronger by strength training, your balance can improve if the right exercises and activities are implemented to challenge those systems that are impaired as well as improve those that are not. Our clinicians are trained to identify body systems that are impaired and contributing to your overall balance deficits and carefully construct a programmed to address those deficits.
What is gait training?
The purpose of gait training is to improve how a patient walks and is often a multifaceted approach that involves balance training, strength training of weak muscles in the lower extremities and trunk, and neuromuscular training to improve coordination and sequencing.
What are the benefits of balance and gait training?
- Improved Strength
- Improved efficiency of movement as well as improved energy.
- Decreased risk of falls/Improved Stability.
- Improved self-confidence
- Increased Independence
- Improved ability to socialize and participate in recreational activities
For more information about how we can help you or a loved one with our gait training services, please contact us.