Submitted by FYZICAL
Falls are a constant worry for seniors and those who have physical challenges. Improving your walking skills (also known as your “gait”) and your balance are interrelated challenges. We can help you master these skills to decrease your risk of injury, while also increasing your confidence and independence.
Balance and gait are intrinsically linked because one often impacts the other. Even if you don’t think you’re at risk of falling over, feeling like you’re “running out of steam” while walking could be a sign of slowing reflexes, which makes moving around seem more strenuous than it actually is. Poor posture and gait can also throw off those reflexes as well.
A number of body systems impact balance and gait, including the inner ear, the eyes, the joint-muscle-nerve system, and cognitive functions. Therapy that improves gait and balance works with all those systems to keep them functioning harmoniously. In addition to decreasing your risk of falling and increasing your footing confidence, balance and gait therapy can also help alleviate aches and pains caused by poor posture.
What does balance and gait training entail?
The first step is to evaluate your gait to determine potential strength and posture problems. Simple movements to test balance are also part of the assessment. Hip and ankle weakness, along with poor posture, often lead to balance problems. Strength and flexibility movements—often as simple as leg lifts while seated in a chair or “knee marching”—can often help counteract these issues. You 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.
Balance and walking are important functions of independent living, work activities, exercise, and sports. We provide a range of programs and therapies to evaluate and treat balance disorders, including:
- Assessment and Evaluation Programs
- Difficulty Walking
- Gait Training and Balance Programs
- Fall Prevention and Balance Retraining
- Manual Therapy
- Fitness and Wellness Programs
- Vestibular Rehabilitation
- Functional Training
Our dedicated team of therapists understand the importance of balance and walking and are ready to help you regain confidence in your stability!
For more information, please visit our website at fyzical.com/peoria or call (309) 589-5900.
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