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Posted on 03-06-2018

Improving your balance and preventing falls is not easy but it's worth it!  I want to tell you about the three’s of balance and fall prevention.

In this blog, I'm going to tell you about the three body systems for maintaining and regaining balance.  In the next blog, I'm going to tell you about the three balance strategies we all use to stay balanced.

So, let’s talk about the three systems we use to stay balanced.

1.       The Visual System – most of us rely a great deal on our vision to maintain our balance – we look or obstacles, uneven pavement, stairs, those curbs in parking lots, our pets…we gather a ton of information using our eyes.  Problems with visual acuity can create serious balance problems and increase our risk of falling.  If you have vision problems, consider seeing your optometrist or ophthalmologist for corrective treatment. Your balance will thank you!

2.       The Vestibular System – this system is located in our inner ears and consists of three loops oriented in different directions. This system gives us information about the position of our heads and assists us in keeping our eyes focused on objectives we move our heads. If you have ever felt dizzy or like the room was spinning, you may have had (or have) a problem with your vestibular system. These problems can be diagnosed and treated so don’t despair!

3.       The Proprioception System – this system helps us know where our bodies are in space and consists of sensory nerves throughout our bodies, which are constantly sending information to our brains telling us if our feet are on the ground, if we are swaying excessively, etc. If you are struggling with decreased sensation in your legs and feet due to peripheral neuropathy or another issue, you know how this can hurt your balance and increase your risk of falling.

I want you to know that problems with any or all of these systems can be diagnosed and treated to improve balance and help you prevent falls.

In our next blog, we'll talk about the three balance strategies we use to keep us upright. Until then, stay balanced!

Your Fallbrook balance physical therapist,

Todd

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