Thursday, December 16, 2010

Therapy For Balance

I was looking for something to help my balance. I found Vestibular Therapy. For the original, go to Click the eye for exercises. I'm going to put all of it here though.

This has really helped my balance. Also, this has eye exercises. I encourage anyone with eye problems (like double vision) to do these.

Vestibular therapy works by having you perform motions that are
intended to make you dizzy while at the same time making you focus on your body position and coordination. This helps your brain compensate for lost balance more quickly. The therapy in the form of exercises, can be performed at home or at a vestibular therapy center. Exercises at the center are more elaborate than can usually be done at home (such as jumping on a trampoline) and are theoretically more effective.
The brain is remarkable for its ability to compensate for a balance loss and can compensate for the loss no matter how severe without therapy within a few weeks to a few months. Vestibular therapy accelerates the compensation process. Dizziness that does not substantially improve over time or even gets worse is an indication that damage is continuing to occur to the balance center. This cycle of continuous or periodic damage and compensation can last for years.
Each time damage (or balance loss) occurs to one balance organ, the brain compensates by "lowering" the sensitivity of the other organ. If you start off with a balance "level" of 100 and 10% is lost on average each time damage occurs, your level will change as shown: 100, 90, 81, 73, 66, 60... During the first balance loss, your brain has to compensate for a 10 point balance drop, which is the worst. The second time the loss occurs your brain has to compensate for a 9 point drop. Although this is terrible, it isn't as bad as the first occurrence. With each 10% loss in balance, your brain has less and less to compensate for, therefore each time a loss occurs it will be less severe. Of course this doesn't hold true if you loose 10% the first time and 15% the second. This may be why some people's balance problem appears to "burn itself out" after a few years. They just get to a point where the amont of damage that is periodically occurring is negligable and is quickly compensated for.

Vestibular Exercises
Cawthorne's Vestibular Exercises

Eye Exercises
Looking up, then down. Slowly at first then quickly (20 times). Looking side to side. Slowly at first then quickly (20 times). Focus on a finger while at arms length. Move the finger one foot closer and back again (20 times).
Head Exercises
Bend head slowly forward then backward with eyes open slowly, then quickly (20 times). Turn head from side to side slowly with eyes open slowly, then quickly (20 times). As dizziness decreases, do this exercise with eyes closed.
While sitting, shrug shoulders (20 times). Turn shoulders right then left (20 times). Bend forward and pick up objects from the ground and sit up (20 times).
Change from sitting to standing and back again with eyes open (20 times). Repeat with eyes closed. Throw a small rubber ball from hand to hand above eye level. Throw ball from hand to hand under one knee.
Moving About
Walk across the room with eyes open, then closed (10 times). Walk up and down a slope with eyes open, then closed (10 times). Walk up and down steps with eyes open, then closed (10 times). Observe caution so you don't injure yourself.
Any game involving stooping or turning is good.


  1. Some of these should not be done home alone if your balance is bad - you can fall and re-injure yourself.
    Sensory integration is also a helpful tool