Performance Physical Therapy

Take this 4 Point Balance Test to Find Out If You Are Experiencing Balance Problems

Balance can mean different things to different people. To a 5-year-old, balance is learning to ride a bike without training wheels. To an adult, balance can mean catching yourself while tripping over that bike, while carrying groceries. To the older adult, balance is hopefully not losing it while walking, but also being able to regain it without falling down. Having good balance is exceptionally important to older adults in maintaining independence. In our practice, it is one of the top fears of our elderly. When you fall, you can break a bone, which they fear will lead to loss of independence and even death. This can be a very valid fear, but like anything else in healthcare, benefits from attention early on to address the potential problem.

Your balance can begin to slowly diminish in the 40’s (don’t get depressed yet!), so all middle aged adults need to add some sort of balance training to their routines. In terms of importance, it is right up there with cardio and strength and flexibility. It is interesting to note that cardio, strength, and flexibility have a big part in how good your balance is, and how you react to challenges to your balance.

Before we continue...

I want to emphasize that balance is a very complex task that can be affected by lots of different things. Medication, inner ear problems, visual problems, and blood pressure issues are just some examples of causes of balance problems. In physical therapy, we concentrate on the role that bones, joints, muscles, and nerves play in having good balance. I want to give you some simple tests that can be done at home to assess your balance. If you have trouble doing some of these tests, it is time to visit your physical therapist for a more comprehensive exam, and see your doctor for a full check up.

Our 4 Part Balance Test

Part 1 - 1 Legged Standing Balance Test

This is pretty self explanatory. Stand on 1 leg without holding onto anything. Normal balance is one minute, less than 30 seconds will need some work.

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