Treatments for Balance and Gait Disorders
Stop the shakiness. Regain your Balance with Physical Therapy
Have you been experiencing unexplained falls, unsteadiness, or balance problems? Do you have knee, hip, or other joint pain due to changes in how you stand and walk? Do you experience shakiness now and then, even when you are standing still? If this sounds familiar, you might have a balance or a gait issue that needs attention.
Gait disorders can be physically and mentally debilitating, and they can arise for a variety of reasons. Many underlying musculoskeletal and neurological conditions can make walking difficult and result in loss of balance. Physiotherapy & chiropractic care can help you to regain your stability and confidence. At Kent Chiro-Med Wellness Clinic (downtown Ottawa), we can manage your symptoms, and in many cases, we can help relieve your condition.
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Physical therapy is the most effective treatment for balance and gait problems. Our experienced and friendly therapists can teach you the best strategies and techniques for improving your balance and walking skills.
When you come in for your initial appointment, we will perform a thorough physical examination of your balance, gait, posture, medical history, and symptoms before developing a customized treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. Your treatment plan will include strategies to achieve the following goals:
- Reduce your risk of falling by identifying hazards around you
- Improve your mobility, flexibility, and posture with hands on treatment and prescribed exercise
- Improve your balance by teaching you static and dynamic balance exercises
- Strengthen your muscles to improve balance and stability
- Increase your ability to move with greater ease, coordination and confidence
Gradually increase your level of activity by setting exercise goals
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How do we treat balance and gait disorders?
Chiropractic and physiotherapy are the most effective ways to improve your balance and walking skills. Our trained chiropractors and physiotherapists in Ottawa will perform a complete physical evaluation to assess the causes of your balance disorder and gait abnormality before developing a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. These types of treatment plans often consist of many of the following:
Exercises that Improve your Strength
The evaluation will assist us in determining which portions of your body may require assistance. Your physical therapist will recommend strengthening exercises to help you develop your muscles. In addition, we will treat the joint restrictions and muscle imbalances contributing to your gait disorder, making it easier for you to move around and lowering your chance of injury.
Stretches & Mobility Exercises
Stretching can help you increase the flexibility of your muscles and improve the range of motion of your joints, while mobility exercises improve your ability to control your body’s motion.
This physical therapy treatment uses specific exercises to improve balance, decrease dizziness, and reduce instability and falls. Vestibular rehabilitation aims to strengthen the vestibular system, an area of the brain and inner ear that controls balance and eye movements. If you have BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), a condition that affects the vestibular system, our chiropractors and physiotherapists in Ottawa may perform a maneuver and provide you with exercises to help relocate the crystals of the inner ear back to the appropriate position.
Exercises to retrain your gait
Gait retraining is a process by which walking irregularities are addressed and skills needed to rectify these issues are practiced and learned.
If you are suffering from balance and gait disorders, contact Kent Chiro-Med Wellness Clinic in Ottawa today to schedule an appointment.
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Does Treatment of Balance and Gait Disorders Require Medical Care?
- In Canada, the average cost per fall requiring hospitalization is approaching $30,000
- The cost of treating a fall is 1.85 times higher than implementing a fall prevention program
- Physiotherapy can prevent falls and save $2,804 on the treatment of falls per 100 inpatients.
- The number of deaths due to falls increased by 65% from 2003 to 2008.
- 50% of falls that result in hospitalization occur in the home, and the same percentage of seniors are discharged to a home setting without any assessment of hazards or physiotherapy program.
The most effective strategy for treating balance and gait disorders involves an evaluation to identify causes and contributing factors. Keep reading to find out more about it.
What else should I know about balance and gait disorders?
- Balance Disorders
People with balance difficulties describe feeling as if they are ready to collapse, wobbling when walking, and floating sensations. Blurred vision and dizziness are other typical symptoms.
Balance problems can be physical and mental because your brain may believe you are moving when you aren’t. Changes in joint strength, mobility, and proprioception (the capacity to perceive where your joints are in space) all have an impact on your balance.
- Gait problems
Gait disturbance accounts for 17% of senior falls. Gait abnormalities create irregular motions in the way you walk and run, which might become more pronounced as you age. In addition, strokes, inner ear difficulties, foot ailments, and even something as simple as ill-fitting shoes might trigger them.
How do balance and gait disorders develop?
The following are some of the most prevalent vestibular conditions that can cause balance problems:
- Ailment or Accident
A sudden accident, disease or other issues that cause muscle weakness can throw your balance off and make it challenging to stay upright.
- Problems with the nervous system
Neurological problems can cause gait and balance problems. To mention a few, brain trauma, strokes, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease are all prevalent illnesses that can affect the nervous system. Everything that affects your nervous system can affect your capacity to maintain balance.
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, occurs when crystals in the inner ear become displaced, causing vertigo and balance problems.
A gait issue might also be caused by a past lower extremity injury that did not heal adequately. As a result, internal scar tissue that has been improperly repaired has a limited range of motion. Restricted movement can result in gait disorders.
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What kind of physical therapist do I need?
Through education and experience, all physical therapists are prepared to handle balance issues. However, you might want to think about:
You can find therapists who have these and other credentials at Kent Chiro Med Wellness Clinic.
Are you ready to get back on your feet?
You don’t have to let balance and gait disorders rule your life. Physical therapy may be able to help you! Let us help you to get back on your feet.
Request an appointment at Kent Chiro-Med Wellness Clinic by clicking here. We’ll assist you in finding balance and managing your condition.