Balance, osteoporosis, falling and hip fractures
At any given moment, we maintain balance in order not to fall. People who have experienced a fall relate that suddenly they found themselves on the floor and did not realize how they lost their balance. We often hear of a person with instability, who fell and unfortunately due to osteoporosis incurred a broken or bruised hip. A fall can happen when walking or standing, from a bed or from a chair.
How does the body maintain balance?
Balance is enabled by a coordination of multiple systems and nerves in the body. Information about body position and movements allow balance. The brain receives information directly from three systems: the visual, the somatosensory, which includes joints, muscles and fascia, and the vestibular system located in the inner ear. Information about balance undergoes special processing in the brain and immediately afterwards, the output goes to the postural muscles that maintain balance and stability and to eye muscles to stabilize gaze.
Injury to equilibrium may cause instability and increased risk of falling
Lack of coordination between the various sensory systems (vestibular, visual and somatosensory) may result in decreased ability to balance, dizziness, and unsteadiness. In some cases, this failure in coordination may cause nausea and vomiting. In many cases, another system will act— the system related to anxiety — it is in the brain, near the region related to balance.
People report that they feel a lack of stability when walking. They describe a feeling as if something is pushing them to walk sideways, even though they are trying to go in a straight direction. Among older people, we have witnessed the phenomenon of falling without an earlier warning of problems with equilibrium. Usually, a fall does not occur because of osteoporosis, but due to an inner ear problem.
Physical therapy and balance
Proper, fundamental, efficient treatment of a balance problem requires rapid intervention. Fall prevention is very important. The Zur Balance Method combines vestibular physical therapy, movement, coordination, correct posture and healthy exercises, including strengthening muscles, building bone, and preventing calcium from escaping the bone; thus preventing osteoporosis. The Zur Balance Method exercises are performed while breathing correctly. The method can return patients’ balance and allow them to resume a healthy, quality lifestyle.