What are balance exercises?
Balance exercises are a series of graded exercises that help improve the balance of an individual.
On most occasions, a physiotherapist will challenge the current level of balance an individual possesses to improve the balance.
What are the main factors that reduce balance?
- Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis,
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke,
- Cardio-respiratory conditions such as dizziness, light-headedness and shortness of breath,
- Frequent falls,
- Post-surgical conditions such as total hip replacement and total knee replacement,
- Audio-visual issues,
What are the benefits of balance exercises?
- Reducing falls risk,
- Improving mobility,
- Improving functions,
- Improving joint proprioception,
- Improving static balance,
- Improving dynamic balance,
- Improving quality of life,
- Improving confidence,
- Improving posture.
When an individual is unable to maintain equilibrium or their line of gravity within their base of support, they are experiencing balance problems.
What are the two main balance problems?
- Static balance: an individual is unable to maintain sitting or standing positions without leaning away from the base of support.
- Dynamic balance: an individual can maintain stability and work within the base of support without losing that state or falling while preparing a function such as walking, stepping, climbing stairs, transferring from a chair or going in and out of a bathtub.
What happens when the balance is affected?
A person with intact balance can usually walk, climb stairs, get in and out of the bathtub, visit a shopping mall, travel on a bus, use the escalator in the shopping mall and negotiate the crowd easily, without realising what they have achieved. When balance is affected, all the above activities become difficult to perform. The individual needs to think several times before executing a function, and they often fall, hurting themselves in doorways or on stairs.
Who can benefit from balance exercises?
- Elderly population,
- Frequent fallers,
- Individuals following surgery,
- Individuals suffering from neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s, spinal injuries and head injury,
- Individuals with posture issues.
How can an individual improve strength?
The answer is quite simple. An individual can improve strength by performing strengthening exercises.
What are strengthening exercises?
Any exercise performed against some form of resistance is classed as strengthening.
Even a movement performed against gravity is considered a strengthening exercise. It can be performed to strengthen a specific muscle or group of muscles.
How are strengthening exercises performed?
Strengthening exercises can be performed using free weights and activities, such as:
- Weight machines
- Activities against gravity
- Activities against water resistance
- Suspension equipment
- Resistance bands
- Your own body weight
At K7 Physiotherapy, we can formulate specific strengthening exercises to achieve your individual goals.
What are the benefits of strengthening exercises?
Like any exercise, a strengthening exercise improves both mental and physical health by stimulating a variety of positive neuromuscular adaptations.
The benefits of strengthening exercises include:
- Improving muscle strength
- Improving muscle tone
- Improving posture
- Reducing pain
- Reducing risk of injury
- Improving function
- Improving quality of movement
- Improving sense of well-being
- Improving confidence
- Improving sleep
- Improving blood lipid profile
- Delaying onset of arthritic conditions
- Increasing blood glucose consumption
- Who benefits from strengthening exercises?
Many people can benefit from strengthening exercises. We include only a few examples here of conditions that can be improved:
- Weakness, following a period of immobility
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Arthritic condition
- Movement dysfunction
- Post injury, pre and post surgery
- Poor posture