What we’ll cover
  1. What affects balance?
  2. How can I prevent the likelihood of falling?
  3. How can physiotherapy help with balance?
  4. Balance exercises to try at home?

Improving balance

Regardless of age, it has been shown that specific exercises can improve balance and reduce the risk of falling. In this blog, our physiotherapist Jason Lee identifies factors that may affect your balance and what you can do to reduce your likelihood of falling.

Balance relies on a number of body systems to be working well together. This includes our visual system and inner ear (vestibular system). Based on information received by these systems, our brain sends messages to your muscular system to respond accordingly. Importantly, this reflex and system can be improved with regular practice.

What affects balance?

Many things can affect balance and increase the likelihood of falling.

These include:

  • Conditions that may affect your eyesight or inner ear
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac disease
  • Medication side effects including dizziness or interactions with other medications.
  • Reduced strength and power
  • Reduced mobility
  • Fear of falling

How can I prevent the likelihood of falling?

If you or your loved ones have experienced recent falls, it is important to consider discussing this with your GP or health professional.

It is important to stay as active and as fit as possible. We know that regular exercise helps to maintain and improve muscular strength. Importantly, weight bearing exercise also assists to maintain bone density which prevents the likelihood of developing osteoporosis which may increase the likelihood of fracture associated with falls.

Other considerations including checking your eyes and hearing. Subtle changes in vision or inner ear can increase the likelihood of falling.

Discuss your medication with your GP or pharmacist. Some medication can cause side effects including dizziness. If you have recent changed to medication and noticed increased side effects such as dizziness or sleepiness, speak to your GP or pharmacist.

Environmental factors such as the home can also contribute. Considerations can include lighting areas such as the bathroom or the hallway. Carefully monitor uneven surfaces such as rugs, electrical cords or steps within the household. Wearing appropriate fitting footwear can also decrease the likelihood of falling.

How can physiotherapy help with balance?

Your physiotherapist is well placed to thoroughly assess your balance. They will perform a range of balance and strength tests to assess your likelihood of falling an identify any factors that may contribute to your unsteadiness.

Following a thorough assessment, your physiotherapist will design a specific exercise program for your needs. These exercises can be performed on a daily basis but it is encouraged to do these exercises for a minimum duration of two to three times weekly over at least six weeks.

Malvern East Physiotherapy has a range of exercise programs within the clinic including our program designed to maintain functional strength and balance for older adults.

Balance exercises to try at home?

Feel free to try these balance exercises outlined in the video at home:

  1. Tight rope walking – Walk heel to toe forwards and backwards.
  2. Flamingo – Standing on one leg. Lift one leg up towards your chest aiming to achieve 90 degrees at the hip and the knee.
  3. Alternating punches – Standing on one leg. Punch a light weight across your body alternating left and right.

If you or your loved ones have experienced a fall, contact our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy. Book online or call us and book an appointment with our experienced team of physiotherapists.

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Back to school 🔙📚

Last week we were fortunate enough to head back to uni and refresh our anatomy knowledge at @latrobeuni in the anatomy labs. 

Thank you to the Latrobe School of Physiotherapy for inviting us! 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.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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