A training type that is aimed at improving posture control for the body, is called balance training. It can be used for different training patient groups with varying ages to enhance the stability of the body.
Balance problems can be caused by sensory issues, motor variation, and cognitive impairments, leading to difficulties in recovery. Imbalance also causes mobility and functional independence issues with patients.
To perform the basic human activities to sit and walk, the body should have a proper balance. The body gets its balance from the skeletal structure and the various cavities that make up the human body.
Why Does One Need to Start with Balance Training?
Balance training involves practicing and improvising the body’s ability to perform coordinated movements along with maintaining the proper balance needed. A stroke can create havoc with the body when it affects the basic ability to even sit or stand.
Even people with comparatively small problems with balance may face difficulty when walking on uneven ground, in the garden, or even when crossing the street. A stroke could damage the brain and weaken the messages to the ear, eyes, and neurological systems that control the signals to manage the control of the body.
There are also underlying conditions like vestibular schwannoma, which is a benign tumour that resides behind the ear canal, grows, and presses into the nerve – which leads to imbalance.
Role of Balance Training in Rehab
A rehab program involving balance training would definitely help patients overcome issues with controlling their body. Balancing exercises work your core muscles, lower back, and legs. Lower-body strength-training exercises can also help improve your balance.
Gradually, with practice, these exercises become easier. Once the person gets comfortable with the exercises, they can advance further and start doing them with the eyes closed.
Some Simple Balance Exercises
- Exercise 1: Leg-Raise, holding a support like a chair or table, will give the body and mind the much-needed confidence. Lift yourself up from your heels, moving the body balance to the toes.
And try and reach as high as possible. Repeat these exercises in 3 sets of 10 repetition each set, to begin with. After the body gets used to such type of movement, it will automatically wire the nerves and muscles to maintain the right balance to accommodate these movements.
- Exercise 2: Take the support of a chair. Stand on one leg and slowly swing the other leg across, once away from the body and then cross the other leg on the way back. Come back to the standing position. Do these 3 sets of 10 repetitions each – for each foot.
- Exercise 3: Stand straight. Lift one leg up till the level of the stomach. Then lower it down. Do this 10 times and then start off the same with the other leg. To begin with a support from a chair can help.
- Exercise 4: Stand straight and attempt to walk backwards by swinging your arms. Make sure that are no obstacles in your path before you start this exercise. Do this for 10 steps. Repeat from one side to the other, 3 times.
- Exercise 5: Sit on a chair with your back straight. Lift your right leg, try to reach your chest. Do the same with the other leg. Do this in 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Exercise 6: Sit on the edge of a chair. Stand up straight. Sit again. Do this 10 times.
The above exercises will help improve the balance after a stroke.
There are different types of balance training commonly done in rehab sessions:
- Functional Balance Training – Reaching for a cup or plate, carrying a grocery bag, reaching out to a cupboard, are some of the activities.
- Body Weight Support – Attempting to walk, stand or sit, initially with support and then later without one.
- Hydrotherapy – Balance therapy done in a therapeutic pool. Water makes the limb movements lighter, as they are not working against gravity.
What Are the Risks of Balance Therapy in Rehab?
For safety, supervision should always be given to individuals practising balance training. The therapist should show safe ways to conduct the balance exercises, and these should be done in the right place without obstacles to avoid injuries.
Another very important aspect to be aware of is fall prevention. When the body loses balance or confidence in the nervous system, there are chances that this will end up in a fall, thereby causing more, sometimes irreparable, damages.
For patients with severe balance problems, it is always recommended to have such trainings in rehab centres, where professional help is available to ensure that while the exercises are helpful, the patients are safe doing them as well.
To learn more about Balance Training equipment, visit our page at https://bmec.asia/my/rehab/