Balance and Gait Disorders
Feeling Thrown Off-Balance? Find Your Feet Again With Physiotherapy
Therapy Can Get You Back To Feeling Your Best
Have you noticed pain in your hips, knees, or other joints that make it difficult for you to walk? Do you find yourself reaching out for walls, railings, or other objects to balance yourself? Is your balance simply not quite what it used to be? If so, you might have a balance or gait issue that needs attention.
Underlying musculoskeletal and neurological disorders can cause or aggravate a balance or gait problem. Fortunately, physiotherapy and massage therapy in Ottawa can help.
There are many reasons why this kind of condition may occur, and it can cause both physical and mental limitations in your daily life. At Anatomy Physiotherapy Clinic, 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, call our St. Laurent clinic at 613-680-4477 or our Orleans clinic at 613-424-4488, or click here to request an appointment at our Ottawa physiotherapy and massage therapy office today.
What is the difference between a balance and gait disorder?
Balance and gait disorders are closely related, but they do have some distinct differences!
Gait disorders can cause abnormal movements in the way you walk and run, and these can become exaggerated with age. According to Move Forward Physiotherapy, gait disorders account for 17 percent of senior falls.
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.
How will physiotherapy and massage therapy help with my balance or gait disorder?
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.
Physiotherapy is the best option for balance and gait disorders. Our Ottawa physiotherapists or registered massage therapists can provide you with the best techniques for improving your balance and ability to walk.
Having to attend therapy should not be a cause for worry. Rest assured that you’re in good hands in our office!
When you arrive for your initial consultation, our physiotherapist 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:
Gait retraining exercises
Sometimes, abnormalities in gait can be corrected through “retraining” where you learn proper techniques.
If you are suffering from a balance or gait disorder, our Ottawa physiotherapists or registered massage therapists will be able to determine the cause of your issues. Treatment may include specific exercises that will help to move the calcium debris to the correct parts of your ear. However, if positional vertigo is not the cause of your dizziness, treatment may include exercises to correct your visual disturbances, nerves, muscles, and the vestibular system as a whole, in order to maintain a steady balance.
Your evaluation will help determine what problem areas in your body may need help. Our physiotherapist 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.
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.
Common causes of balance or gait disorders
There can be many causes of balance and gait disorders, as they can develop from many different underlying conditions.
Many balance disorders 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:
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.
A vestibular neuritis is usually caused by a virus attacking the nerve to your inner ear. It can result in a sudden onset of loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and or vertigo. Often, things get better in a few weeks, but if they do not, specific exercises focused on these systems will help get you back feeling well again.
Injuries or other ailments
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.
Are you ready to get back on your feet?
Balance and gait issues don’t need to ruin your routine. We’re here to help you get your footing back under you. Request your appointment at Anatomy Physiotherapy Clinic today! We’ll help you find the balance you’re looking for, and teach you ways to manage your condition in the future!