Balance Problems and Fall
Vestibular problem/ fall risk self assessment.
- Do you experience dizziness or lack of confidence in moving?
- Are you unable to sleep in bed or afraid to roll in bed?
- Are you afraid to get out of bed in the morning?
- Are you afraid to take a shower?
- Are you very cautious while doing laundry?
- Are you afraid to drive?
- Do you avoid going to your hair dresser?
- Have you limited your social activities because of dizziness or balance?
- Have you had any recent changes in your vision or hearing?
- Are you taking multiple medications?
- Do you have any specific problems with your feet?
- Do you have a loss of sensation or decreased sensation in any body part?
- Do you walk with any assistive devices, such as a cane or walker?
- Do you have a feeling of motion, spinning or falling when moving?
- Have you experienced more than one fall in the past six months?
If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, you could be having some vestibular problems and might be at risk for a fall. You may benefit from our Vestibular/Balance Rehabilitation program.
About Balance Problems
Normal balance requires the integration of three sensory systems: visual, vestibular (found in the inner ear), and somatosensory (sensations from the skin, muscles, tendons and joints) in addition to muscle strength. When these systems are not functioning well, individuals may experience episodes of spinning, light-headedness, trouble focusing their eyes and/or poor balance or falls. Dizziness and balance problems account for 5-10% of physician visits, affect 40% of people over the age of 40, and is the number one reason for physician visits for people over the age of 65. But, it would be wrong to assume that dizziness and balance problems are an old age issue. It can affect any age group, especially young adult females.
Approximately 40% of people older than age 65 fall each year. Most escape serious injury, but fear of falling will cause them to limit their activities. Vertigo is the most common form of dizziness. Although dizziness can have many causes, true vertigo is usually due to a problem in the inner ear. It can be caused by inflammation, Meniere's disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), certain medications or a multitude of other conditions.
Vestibular problems are often characterized by feelings of vertigo or dizziness. Thousands of people suffer needlessly from this often disabling condition that affects the sense of balance and causes difficulty with any type of movement, a feeling of nausea, or changes in vision and hearing. Vestibular difficulties are caused by problems in the balance center of the ear or with the connection of the balance center to the brain. Fortunately, vestibular/balance rehabilitation is available through Synergy Therapeutic Group by a trained therapist.
Balance disorders can be difficult to diagnose because patients sometimes find it hard to describe their symptoms to a doctor. Patients may use words such as "dizzy," "woozy," or "lightheaded" to describe what they are feeling. For some people, the feeling can be brief, while for others it can last a long time, disrupting their daily lives.
Balance disorders are serious. Sometimes they are a sign of other health problems, such as those affecting the brain, heart, or circulation of the blood. They are also one cause of falls and fall-related injuries in older people. For these reasons, it is important to have a potential balance disorder diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
We are often asked, "I am taking medication (e.g. Meclizine) so why am I still feeling dizzy?" Medications may sometime help but in true vestibular problems physical treatment is necessary. Treatment will depend on the problem (dizziness, dizziness with balance problems, balance problems only). Some conditions can be taken care of in only one visit while others may take several visits. Treatment plans for the Vestibular Rehabilitation program are developed to provide the tools necessary for symptom management. Management of the problem enables patients to return to a functional lifestyle and to eventually be able to manage the disorder on their own. The goal for our patients is to give them the ability to return to work, attend to household responsibilities and partake in various social and recreational activities.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.