December 2013 Newsletter – Balance – Are you Balanced ?

Good Balance is essential for preventing falls and injuries.   Balance is particularly important if you have a history of falls, repeated injuries (ie ankle sprains) or if you suffer any diseases that directly affect your balance such as stroke, parkinsons, MS, etc.    Your balance is made up of several factors.   These are:

  • Your eye sight (visual awareness)
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle Power (includes speed and reaction time)
  • Proprioception (ability to feel where your body is when your eyes are closed)
  • Posture
  • Footwear
  • Sensation (feeling – hot / cold / light / course / sharp/ blunt)
  • Reaction Time – neural speed
  • Flexability – Joint Stiffness (limiting normal movement)
  • Cardiovascular Fitness (endurance) – do you fatigue during an activity
  • Disease

All of these factor need to be assessed and an appropriate rehabilitation program implemented.    As a general rule, if you challange your balance regularly you will maintain or develop most of the items above.   As with all rehabilitation set up by a professional – it will be more effective and time efficient than a general program.