If you fell before you know how scary losing your balance can be. Balance is a skill that declines as we age when not worked on. The combination of balance and strength exercises can limit fall risks and improve your everyday function.
The 2 types of balance exercises are STATIC and DYNAMIC exercises.
Static balance exercises train your ability to maintain a body position without moving. These exercises can improve the endurance of your muscles and the stability of your joints. For example, when you stand on one leg like the Karate Kid you train your hip, knee and ankle stability muscles.
If your joint stability muscles are weak, it will affect how you move and increase the risk of injuries. An example of this are individuals who have chronic ankle sprains. The ankle stabilizer muscles (peroneals and posterior tibilais) helps the foot absorb impact during activities such as walking or jumping. When these muscles are not functioning properly your risk for ankle sprains increases.
Dynamic balance exercises train your ability to maintain balance while in motion. These exercises can improve daily tasks that require multitasking; they include walking while turning your head or reaching for a hand rail while walking up stairs. To be considered low fall risk you must be able to walk in all directions (forward, backward, sidestepping, turning) without falling or repeated balance loss.
A complete balance program will address your specific needs through static and dynamic balance training. If you fell in the last year it is highly recommended you contact a physical therapist for a fall risk assessment.
Dr. Jack Wong
Leading Physical Therapist In The Houston Area