David Roche MSc Pg Dip BSc HNC CSCS
Keeping your balance is a complicated process. Although you might not realize it, your body is constantly making calculations and tiny postural readjustments to stay upright.
There are many parts of the body that work together to maintain balance, and this means that if one body system, for example vision, begins to fail, the other systems are able to compensate. The body is so good at doing this that you might not even notice your balance is deteriorating unless put under more difficult conditions.
Poor balance is associated with falls, longer hospitalization, permanent injury and even fatality. The good news is that balance can usually be improved. Your physiotherapist is an expert in balance and understands how to identify which aspects of your balance needs addressing and how to improve them.
Recently a global physiotherapy awareness campaign was launched called “One Leg Physio” which issues a challenge to people to reach their highest level of balance by working through a progressive list of challenges called the ‘difficult dozen’.
The challenge is to make your way safely through as many the difficult dozen as you can and hold for at least 34 seconds.
You can participate in this global challenge yourself by going to the website, www.oneleg.physio and trying out the difficult dozen for yourself. Make sure you do so safely and protect yourself if there is any risk you might fall.
To help spread awareness, the campaign asks you to post pictures of your most successful attempt and post to social media with the hashtag #onelegphysio and tag two friends to challenge them. You can also compare your best times with those of people from all around the world. Don’t forget to tag the clinic as well!
If you want to improve your balance, talk to your physiotherapist about developing a specialized program. They can do a thorough assessment to work out the most appropriate exercises to make the most improvements to your overall balance. This can be an important factor in preventing falls and injury, no matter your fitness level or age.