Loss Of Balance: How Vestibular Therapy Exercises Can Help

Mild or severe loss of balance can occur in adults but is more common in elderly people. If you feel unsteady on your feet, don’t try and self-diagnose, see your doctor right away. Treatments will depend on what is causing the problem, but in many cases rehabilitation therapy can help enormously.

Brooklyn-based Fairview Adult Day Care Center’s physical therapists develop special exercises tailored to clients’ needs. We are in constant touch with registrants’ doctors to keep them apprised of any health issues. We ensure that any rehab therapy, including vestibular therapy is safe and right for you, and ultimately helps to reduce loss of balance.

Cheerful old man suffering from loss of balance sitting on sofa smiling and holding walking cane

What Can Cause Loss Of Balance?

It’s important for you and your doctor to understand the causes of the loss of balance you may be experiencing. These may be a drop in blood pressure, a mild stroke, or a side-effect of medication. Causes can also be physical, such as muscle damage.

However, a very common cause of vertigo, dizziness, or lack of coordination and balance is inner ear problems. The vestibular system is part of the inner ear and controls your sense of balance. It works in conjunction with your eyes and brain to make movement feel smooth and coordinated.

Loss of balance may also be linked to stress, anxiety, the nervous system, as well as the circulatory system. Symptoms include lightheadedness, feeling faint, anxiety about walking or moving, or feeling as though the room is spinning.

Can Vestibular Exercises Help?

People experiencing loss of balance and who have been diagnosed with inner ear problems can benefit from vestibular rehab exercises. These may include relaxing the neck and shoulder muscles and various stretching and balancing techniques. The aim is to improve general coordination and smooth movement without the risk of injury.

A therapist will assess you and devise an individualized exercise program. He or she will guide you on how many repetitions of each exercise to do and for how long. You should pace yourself and gradually build up your balance and coordination.

Other exercises to address loss of balance might include:

  • head and eye movements or bending down to pick up an object
  • bending forwards and backwards or turning from side to side while seated
  • eye, head and shoulder movements while standing
  • walking up or down a slope, stooping or stretching.

How Long Does Vestibular Rehabilitation Take To Work?

Vestibular therapy may take time to have beneficial effects, so patience and perseverance are key. Much will depend on the exact nature of your loss of balance, its causes, and your overall health. A key point about vestibular therapy exercises is that they are carried out in a safe environment to prevent falls.

At Fairview adult day care center in Brooklyn NY, most of our clients are seniors and also adults with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and other brain disorders. So, the loss of balance and lack of coordination are the issues we deal with frequently. Do contact us if you would like to find out more about our day care services and rehabilitation therapies.