As physical therapists at Whites Physical Therapy in Wilmington, MA, we understand that right balance is a foundation for all movement activities as well as functional activities. In physical therapy, we strive to maximize a person’s quality of life by focusing on several categories including strength, posture, mobility, gait and function. Having good balance is the foundation for each one of those categories. By performing balance exercises, you help to strengthen the appropriate muscles in your lower legs that needed for movement activities. Having an aligned center balance point helps the individual to have an upright posture which reduces friction on the joints, thereby decreasing pain in the joints and surrounding muscles. Balance training is the key to having good posture. Equilibrium exercises also help to enhance mobility. By having a reliable base of support, the extremities can produce force and complete the tasks efficiently. Furthermore, having to balance is critical for gait. When we walk, we spend time balancing on one foot during the stance phase of walking.
Training for Strengthening and Balance with a Physical Therapist
Consequently, practicing balance exercises for standing on one foot is essential for maintaining stability while walking. Balance training is necessary to perform before starting a stretching program. Balance exercises will help you stay grounded while you reach out to touch your toes or reach back behind you to stretch the back. Many reaching positions can put you in a position of being off balanced. That is why it is essential to practice equilibrium routines before you start to stretch. Finally, having good stability is critical for all functional movements including our activities of daily living. We all need balance skills for reaching overhead into a cupboard without falling backward. Additionally, moving from sitting to standing requires stability so that we do not fall forwards when we get up. Going up and down stairs also needs balance abilities to maintain proper momentum and to keep from tripping and falling. As physical therapists at Whites Physical Therapy in Wilmington, MA, we know that right balance is a foundation required to perform all these movements.
In physical therapy, we apply balance activities to most of the exercises that we have our patients perform. For example, to increase balance skills, or to build strength and core muscles as well as help those sore shoulder muscles heal, we can add standing on a soft or uneven surface while performing shoulder strengthening exercises. To help build muscle strength that supports arthritic knees, we often train the hamstring and quadriceps muscles to perform strengthening exercises while on a balance board. The added challenge of imbalance enhances strength and balance abilities at the same time. Additionally, in therapy, we make sure to test our postoperative hip and knee replacement folks with their balance during walking. We often add obstacles like stepping over cones or on and off different size steps to advance coordination, proprioception, and stability.
Physical Therapy Exercises at Whites Physical Therapy in Wilmington, MA
Our physical therapists at Whites Physical Therapy in Wilmington, MA, have gone on to specialize in patients who have balance problems and dizziness issues. Our specialty is classified as Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapists. We work with individuals specifically on foundational balance routines and exercises to eliminate vertigo.
In Vestibular Rehabilitation, we instruct patents in detail how to find their balance, how to use proper balance techniques when walking and moving. We evaluate each and determine which equilibrium exercises are suitable for their recovery. One of my greatest joys is to watch the journey of folks going from a history of falling and having a fear of falling to applying specific balance techniques and exercises which lead them to a life of stability and higher quality of life.
Beginning an exercise routine may appear to be daunting at first, but hiring a professional fitness trainer like our physical therapists at Whites Physical Therapy in Wilmington, MA who specializes in superior fitness is the first step. Always check with your physician and get a medical clearance before beginning an exercise program. Take small steps, build up your endurance and most of all, and enjoy feeling the benefits of exercise.