Balance Facts

There are six key facts about Balance Disorders. Balance is critical for normal body function. In fact the feeling of balance results from the combination of senses from a number of body systems; such as the eyes (visual system), ears (vestibular and auditory system) and the body’s sense of where it is in space (proprioception) (Shumway-Cook & Woollacott, 2007). 

When all of these systems are functioning properly there is a feeling of equilibrium or balance. However, individuals with disruption of one or more of these senses may lead to a state of disequilibrium (Kandel, Schwartz, & Jessell, 2000; Shumway-Cook & Woollacott, 2007). This may manifest with feelings of anxiety, falling over, clumsiness, miss-judging distances, dizziness, vertigo, motion sickness and many more (Jacobson, Thompson, Wallace, Brown, & Rial, 2011). 

The following are six (6) key points you need to know about Balance; 

  1. To achieve good physical balance we rely on other systems of the brain and nervous system (eyes, inner-ear, and muscular-skeletal system) to work in harmony. Balance is commonly taken for granted until it is impaired. 
  2. Over 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older have had balance dysfunction at some point in their lives. 
  3. Balance problems can occur for many reasons: inner-ear disease, a virus, a traumatic brain injury, poisoning by certain antibiotics or other medications, migraines, and aging. 
  4. People with balance disorders are challenged with the following symptoms: vertigo (spinning sensation), dizziness, fatigue, jumping vision, unsteadiness, “brain fog”, nausea/vomiting, hearing loss and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). 
  5. People with balance disorders can suffer cognitive impacts, such as poor concentration, memory, and word recall; difficulty reading while tracking printed text; and impaired mental stamina. 
  6. Research has demonstrated that success is often found with balance disorders with the use of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). Some low-impact exercise routines can improve balance (like Tai Chi, yoga or virtual reality games). 

At Brainstorm we have specialised evidence base equipment to assist with the identification of balance disorders. Our trained therapists are skilled with the interpretation and treatment of balance disorders. 

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Balance Facts