Why do we need a good balance system?
A range of different neurological conditions impact on an individual’s balance. Balance is the ability to maintain the bodies centre of mass over your base of support. Having your balance system working well means you can safely:
- walk on uneven surfaces
- change direction when you walk
- change your walking speed
- see clearly while you’re moving
- react to anything in your path
- walk in the dark
When people have problems with their balance, activities which others take for granted, such as walking across grass or walking to the bathroom at night can be difficult and dangerous.
How does our Balance System work?
The balance system of our body is is complex. Three important factors that keep you upright are:
- Your vision or ability to see
- The balance or vestibular system in your inner ear
- Your somatosensory system (knowing where your body is in space)
Your brain takes the information from theses 3 systems and processes it. It will then send message out to your muscles telling them what they need to do to keep you upright.
If one of these system isn’t working properly, your body can learn to compensate by using the other systems more.
What can I do if have a balance problem?
At Sunshine Coast Neuro Rehab we can help work out if there is a problem with your balance, and provide you with exercises to help your balance system compensate.
These exercises don’t have to be boring either. In our next blog we will look at some fun ways that we help people with their balance.
Rebekah McClellan, APA Titled Research Physiotherapist
Neve Cavanagh, Physiotherapist, APA Member