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What we’ll cover
  1. What helps with balance?
  2. How can physiotherapists assess balance?
  3. How can I improve my balance?

Balance – you can improve it

Did you know that 1/3 of people over the age of 65 have experienced a fall within the past 12 months?  Scarily, the majority of falls of falls have been shown to occur in or around the home.  However, balance re-training has been proven to greatly reduce the likelihood of falling and associated injuries.

balance

What helps with balance?

Balance is reliant on a number of body systems working in sync with one another.  These include the vestibular system (inner ear), vision, muscular system and awareness of your body position (known as proprioception).  Problems with balanced and an increased risk of falls can occur when one or more of the systems is not working optimally.

A range of issues can impair these systems including:

  • Muscle weakness.
  • Poor joint mobility.
  • Inner ear issues.
  • Certain medications.
  • Decreased physical activity.

How can physiotherapists assess balance?

Physiotherapists are well placed to assess balance and likelihood of falls.  Physical tests including gait assessment, balance tests and strength tests will provide insight into balance.  These tests thoroughly assess both static and dynamic balance.

Static balance tests will assess balance whilst in stationary positions.  This can include differences in balance whilst standing with eyes closed, uneven surfaces or on one leg at a time.  Without static balance, your likelihood of falling whilst moving or under loading is greatly increased.  The average person can stand on one leg for more than 34 seconds.

Dynamic balance tests will identify your likelihood of falling whilst moving.  Your physiotherapist is able to assess this through a range of functional or walking based tests.

How can I improve my balance?

Decreased balance and risk of falls is not normal for ageing.  Balance re-training and exercise has been proven to reduce the likelihood of falls by improving strength, endurance and reflex responses.  At times, these exercises can be challenging and slightly outside your comfort zone.  With balance retraining, it is important to push your limits in a safe and comfortable zone.

Exercises can include both supervised exercise such as clinical pilates or strength training, through to independent exercises which can be performed at home.  Practicing balance will gradually reduce the likelihood of falling and ultimately build up strength and confidence.

A simple balance exercise to try at home is to practice balancing without visual feedback.  Try standing in an upright position with your eyes closed for as long as possible.  To make the exercise more difficult, try standing with your feet together or on one leg at a time.  Importantly, remember if you are performing balance exercises at home, use a secure and safe area of the house.

Get your balance assessed today by our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy.  Call us on 9571 6888 or book online.  You will be surprised at how quickly and efficiently your balance can be improved with practice.


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Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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