During our Rochester winters we frequently hear patients comment on being concerned about walking on icy and snowy driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. These icy conditions are difficult for all people but especially those whom might already have feelings of unsteadiness or difficulties with their balance in good conditions!
The systems that make up our balance are very complex and include input from our vestibular system, visual systems, and proprioceptive systems. All of these systems send information to the brain where it is processed and then sent back out to make adjustments to our body’s position so that we remain upright!
Fortunately, balance and the systems that contribute to it much like any other system in the body can be strengthened with focused exercises. We’d like to list a few of the top balance exercises that can be performed safely at home. Remember to always use caution and do these in a safe manner where you have something to sturdy to hang on to such as a kitchen counter! If you are worried about your balance or think it is something you could work on call one of your Lattimore PTs today!
1.Single leg stance: while standing at your kitchen counter attempt to balance on one leg for about 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
2. Tandem Walks (Heel — Toe Walk): walk alongside a wall or counter and as you walk position heel of one foot directly in front of toes of the other foot as if walking a balance beam. Repeat for about 20 steps.
3. Marching in place: stand at your kitchen counter and slowly march in place. Make the exercise more difficult by holding each leg up in the air a few seconds at a time
4. Heel raises: while holding onto your counter raise up on your toes. Stand on your toes for about 5 seconds and repeat 15–20 times.
5. Counter Squats: hold onto the counter and go into a squat position. Hold for 5 seconds and perform 15–20 reps.
These just begin to scratch the surface of exercises that can be done to improve your balance. There are also countless vestibular exercises and progressions of the exercises listed here. If you’re feeling at all unsteady on your feet we recommend seeing one of our PTs before your symptoms can lead to dangerous and costly falls. Let one of our licensed PTs design a tailored program just for you to begin working on your core strength, balance, and a comprehensive fall prevention/balance program today!
The Lattimore Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation Network was founded by Physical Therapists John and Cindy Shuman in 1992. Since then Lattimore has grown to 20+ locations in 4 different counties.
What’s unique about Lattimore is our patient experience. We tailor your 1:1 treatment around your individual needs, conditions and goals. With us, you’re more than just a number. You’re a member of our local community and we’re invested in your success. Call 1–888-PT ROCHS to experience The Lattimore Way!
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