The Wall Street journal recently published an article on “From Athletes to the Elderly: The Science of Trips and Falls.” Here at Great Moves Physical Therapy, we understand our balance system is made up of 3 major systems — visual, vestibular (inner ear’s response to head and neck motion), and proprioception (awareness of the position of one’s body).
This article talks about how each step we take requires complex coordination of foot placement, arm movement, trunk angle and neck and head motion. “Every step is different from the one before with slight variation in stride length and width and the angle at which the foot hits the ground, as well as small shifts in weight in the torso. Our bodies must constantly make miniscule adjustments to accommodate these variations.” Natural age-related or injury induced change to 1 or more of these systems creates an increased challenge for us to stay balanced.
Do a self-assessment. Do you evenly swing your arms while walking? Are you placing your feet straight ahead, in line with your hip bones? Does this hurt when you force it? Do you walk bent over? Do you lose your balance when turning your head side to side or up and down while walking?
If you have problems in any of these areas, physical therapists at Great Moves Physical Therapy can help you regain your balance and prevent unnecessary injury. Contact us for a free consultation (477-6870) to see if we’re a good fit to help prevent you from falling or tripping this winter-weather season. The best part about your consultation is that you’ll meet with a fully-licensed physical therapist who’s knowledgable about this subject.