Balance and Gait Disorders Idaho Falls, ID

Balance and Gait Disorders

Scott B.

A couple of years ago, I was dealt a devastating blow with a diagnosis of a progressive debilitating disease. I had to quit work and started to go downhill with loss of strength and balance.

Find Your Balance Once Again with Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Can Help with the Rehabilitation of Any Balance or Gait Disorder

If you are living with a balance or gait disorder, our Idaho Falls physical therapists are here for you. Is your balance not quite what it used to be? Do you find yourself reaching out for walls, railings, or other objects to balance yourself? Have you noticed pain in your hips, knees, or other joints that makes it difficult for you to walk?

These are all indications of a balance or gait disorder. There are many reasons why this kind of condition may occur, and it can cause both physical and mental limitations to your daily life. Underlying musculoskeletal and neurological disorders can cause or aggravate a balance or gait problem. Fortunately, physical therapy in Idaho Falls can help.

At Ellis Physical Therapy, we can manage your symptoms and in many cases, we can help relieve your condition altogether. To find out more about how our balance and gait disorders services can benefit you, contact our Idaho Falls physical therapy office today.

Physical therapy for balance and gait disorders

Physical therapy is the best option for balance and gait disorders. Our Idaho Falls physical therapists can provide you with the best techniques for improving your balance and ability to walk.

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:

Stretches

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.

Strengthening exercises

Your evaluation will help determine what problem areas in your body may need help. 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.

Gait retraining exercises

Sometimes, abnormalities in gait can be corrected through “retraining” where you learn proper techniques.

Vestibular rehabilitation

This physical therapy treatment works to improve your vision, nerves, muscles, and the vestibular system as a whole, in order to maintain a steady balance. If you are suffering from BPPV, our Idaho Falls physical therapists will provide you with specific exercises that will move the calcium debris to the correct parts of your ear.

What caused my balance/gait disorder?

There can be many causes of balance and gait disorders, as they can develop from many different underlying conditions.

For balance disorders, many are related to issues in the vestibular system, which 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. The vestibular system is responsible for your sense of position, also known as “proprioception.”

Some common vestibular conditions resulting in balance disorders include:

Injury or ailment

Even if your brain and nervous system are working in harmony with one another, a sudden injury, disease, or other ailment causing muscle weakness can interfere with your balance and make it difficult to keep yourself upright.

Neurological issues

This may include Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, or stroke. Anything that affects your neurological system can also impact your balance.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

This occurs when calcium debris breaks off in the inner ear, causing issues with balance.

Understanding the difference between balance and gait disorders

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.

Balance and gait disorders are closely related, but they do have some distinct differences. 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.

Gait disorders can cause abnormal movements in the way you walk and run, and these can become exaggerated with age. According to Move Forward Physical Therapy, gait disorders account for 17 percent of senior falls.

Get started today with Ellis Physical Therapy

Are you looking to get back on your feet? Contact Ellis Physical Therapy today at Idaho Falls, ID! We’ll help you find the balance you’re looking for after just a few sessions.