Balance & Gait Training Lansing, Okemos & Dewitt, MI

Balance & Gait Disorders

Balance and gait disorders can be both physically and mentally debilitating. Without balance, your abilities in life are very limited. A number of underlying neurological or musculoskeletal disorders can either cause or aggravate a balance/gait disorder. Physical therapy helps you master these skills to decrease your risk of injury, while at the same time increasing your confidence and independence. Feel steady and confident when you’re up and about with physical therapy. 

Balance and gait are inextricably linked because they tend to impact one another. Even if you don’t think you’re in danger of falling over or that tiredness you get while walking that you’re attributing to aging muscles could be something else. The problem might actually be slowing reflexes, which make moving around seem more strenuous than it is. By the same token, poor posture and gait can throw off those reflexes.

In fact, the balance and gait systems both rely to some extent on a complex number of body systems that include the inner ear, eyes, joint-muscle-nerve system, and of course cognitive functions. Physical therapy that improves gait and balance works with all of these systems to keep them functioning in harmony. Gait and balance training has a range of benefits, with avoiding injuries being at the top of the list. Beyond lessening your chances of falling or feeling dizzy, you’re also more likely to feel confident with your footing. Also, those aches and pains from poor posture are likely to decrease as well.

Physical Therapy

First, our physical therapists will evaluate your gait to determine potential problems with strength and posture. Simple movements to test balance are also part of the assessment. Together, these basic evaluations point us in the direction of what to focus on in terms of therapy. Often, strength and flexibility movements can help counteract these problems. These are often as simple as leg lifts while seated in a chair, or knee marching. We may also practice standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or tracking the movement of your thumb with your eyes as you move it in various positions.

With our dedicated team of physical therapists behind you, you’ll regain confidence in navigating challenging terrain and learning how to avoid dizzy spells. You may even be able to leave that cane or walker behind!