Balance & Gait Training

Falls are a major concern for those with physical challenges and seniors. The concerns are valid with falls being the leading cause of injury-related deaths and serious health problems in the U.S.

Improving your walking skills (formally known as “gait”) and balance are interrelated challenges. Physical therapy helps you master these skills and in return, decreases your risk of injury, and increasing your confidence and independence.

What are the benefits of balance and gait training?

With their tendency to impact one another, balance and gait are inextricably linked. Even if you don’t think you’re in danger of falling over, that “running out of steam” while walking that you’re attributing to aging muscles could be something else. The problem might actually be slowing reflexes, which make moving around seem more strenuous than it is. By the same token, poor posture and gait can throw off those reflexes.

The balance and gait systems rely to some extent on a complex number of body systems including the inner ear, the eyes, the joint-muscle-nerve system, and cognitive functions. Therapy that improves gait and balance works with all of these systems to ensure they are functioning in harmony.

Gait and balance training has a range of benefits, with avoiding injuries topping the list. Beyond lessening your chances of falling or feeling dizzy, you’re also more likely to feel confident with your footing. Additionally, the aches and pains from poor posture are likely to decrease too.

What does balance and gait training entail?

First, we’ll evaluate your gait to determine any underlying strength and posture problems. Our physical therapist use simple movements to test balance as part of the assessment. Together, these basic evaluations point us in the direction of what to focus on in terms of therapy.

Hip and ankle weakness often lead to balance problems, just like poor posture. Strength and flexibility movements can help with these problems. They are often as simple as seated leg lifts while, or “knee marching”. We may also practice standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or tracking the movement of your thumb with your eyes as you move it in various positions.

Ready to “balance” your life again?

With our dedicated team of physical therapists behind you, you’ll regain confidence in navigating challenging terrain and learning how to avoid dizzy spells. You may even be able to leave that cane or walker behind!

Contact us today at Orange City, FL center for a consultation to regain your independence.



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