We’ve all felt dizzy at some point in our lives. To say the least, it’s not a pleasant sensation. However, for some people, feeling dizzy and unbalanced is a constant occurrence. Do you find yourself looking for walls, railings, or other objects to help you balance? Is your balance simply not what it used to be? If this describes you, you may have a balance or gait disorder that requires attention.
A problem with your balance or gait can be caused or exacerbated by underlying musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. Fortunately, at Lumina Wellness Physical Therapy our Wilmington, NC physical therapy practice can assist you in restoring and correcting your balance.
There are numerous causes for this type of condition, and it can cause both physical and mental limitations in your daily life. We can manage your symptoms and, in many cases, help to relieve your condition at Lumina Wellness Physical Therapy.
Call us at (910) 805-1111 or click here to request an appointment at our Wilmington, NC physical therapy office today to learn more about how our balance and gait disorder services can help improve your quality of life.
Balance vs. gait disorders
Balance and gait disorders, while similar, do have many differences.
A physical therapist at Lumina Wellness Physical Therapy will be able to diagnose your specific condition after a thorough evaluation; however, here is some information on gait disorders versus balance disorders:
According to Move Forward Physical Therapy, gait disorders account for 17 percent of senior falls. Gait disorders can cause abnormal movements in the way you walk and run, and these can become exaggerated with age.
They can also be caused by stroke, inner ear problems, foot conditions, or even something as simple as ill-fitting shoes.
With balance disorders, people report feeling as if they are about to fall, staggering when attempting to walk, as well as a sensation of floating. Blurred vision and feelings of disorientation are also common.
Balance disorders are both physical and mental, as your brain may think you are moving, even when you are not. Changes to your joint strength, mobility, and ability to sense where your joints are in space (proprioception), all have physical consequences on your balance.
How will physical therapy help me find relief for my balance or gait disorder?
Physical therapy is the best option for balance and gait disorders. Our Wilmington, NC physical therapists can provide you with the best techniques for improving your balance and ability to walk. It’s important to get help if you are having trouble remaining steady, as you want to prevent falling and injuring yourself!
Balance and gait disorders belong to a family of functional problems that interfere with your positional awareness, your normal means of walking or running, and your ability to keep yourself upright.
Having to attend therapy should not be a cause for worry. Rest assured that you’re in good hands in our office!
When you arrive for your initial appointment, our physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive physical evaluation to examine your balance, gait, stance, medical history, and symptoms, before creating a personalized treatment plan made for your specific needs.
This treatment plan may include the following exercises and treatment methods:
Gait retraining exercises
Sometimes, abnormalities in gait can be corrected through “retraining” where you learn proper techniques. Runners can benefit from this kind of therapy technique especially.
Your physical therapy evaluation will help determine what problem areas in your body may need strengthening. Our physical therapist will provide you with strengthening exercises that will build up your muscles, thus making it much easier for you to move around and reduce your risk of injury.
Stretching will help improve your flexibility and your range of motion. This will give you more control and quicker reactions with your movements, also reducing your risk of injury. It will also keep your muscles from becoming too tight and stiff.
If you are living with a balance or gait disorder, our Wilmington, NC physical therapists will provide you with specific exercises that will move the calcium debris to the correct parts of your ear.
This physical therapy treatment works to improve your vision, nerves, muscles, and the vestibular system as a whole, to maintain a steady balance.
So, what’s causing my balance or gait disorder?
Balance and gait disorders can develop from many different underlying conditions. Many balance disorders are related to issues in the vestibular system, which is responsible for your sense of position, also known as “proprioception.”
Your vestibular system is a delicate collection of fluid-filled chambers and sensory nerves, located in the inner ear, and thousands of nerve receptors in the joints throughout your body. Some common vestibular conditions resulting in balance disorders include:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV occurs when calcium debris breaks off in the inner ear, causing issues with balance.
There are hundreds of different neurological issues that can result in balance and gait problems. They may include Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, or stroke.
Injuries and ailments
Even if your brain and nervous system are working in harmony with one another, a sudden injury, disease, accident, or other ailment causing muscle weakness can interfere with your balance and make it difficult to keep yourself upright.
Find relief for your balance or gait disorder today
Balance and gait problems do not have to rule your life. You can benefit from physical therapy! We’re here to assist you in getting back on your feet.
Request an appointment at Lumina Wellness Physical Therapy by clicking HERE today. We’ll help you find the right balance and teach you how to manage your condition in the future!