Balance Training

Balance Training

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Balance is referred to as maintaining an upright position while sitting or standing & the activities that cause a shift in body weight.

Balance plays a vital role in our day to day activities. Regardless of age, balance exercise is helpful for our fitness & healthy life. For Adult, Toddlers and old age, Balance exercises are beneficial and we will see the great result in their lifestyle. Different type of patients with disability follows balance exercises which can increase the chances of early recovery. Balance can help improve our digestion and other related diseases in our day today lifestyle. Balance exercises if doing religiously can help improve grow one’s mind, physical health and give a happy life. Regular balance exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health.

  • Balance is not only the ability to recover from instability but it is also the ability to move in such a manner that will help avoid instability. Balance deals with the ability to visualize an object and react appropriately. As we know balance is a reflex. Spine directs the certain movements of the body without requiring the instruction from the brain. So balance is a spinal reflex as it takes a second for muscle and tendons in the joint to feel the tap’s pressure and direct the spine that they are being stretched. One main aspect of the spinal reflexes is that when a limb either hand or foot moves in one direction, the opposite limb either hand or foot moves in the other direction. As one foot rises to get away from a sharp stone, for instance, the other foot extends or presses down. This reaction is called a crossed extension, which is controlled by the motor neurons of the spinal cords.
  • Balance is the ability to maintain the center of gravity over a base of support.

Neural components for balance

There are different strategies for balance control that is the motor and sensory strategies. Motor strategies include stance phase & perturbed phase that maintains the body alignment and muscle tone.

Sensory strategies include visual system, vestibular system & somatosensory system. Vestibular system regulate the equilibrium, Somatosensory system helps in proprioception  and kinesthesia of joints Visual system detects the changes of body position with respect to the base of support,

Balance control requires the interaction of nervous system, a Musculoskeletal system which includes joint integrity, flexibility, the range of motion, postural alignment muscle performance and contextual effects that include gravity, environment, muscle performance etc.

PRINCIPLES OF BALANCE EXERCISES

  1. i) Improve the stability of trunk, biomechanical alignment & equal weight distribution.
  2. ii) Promote the use of functional training during static & dynamic activities.

iii)  Improve motor responses for balance including functional ROM & strength.

  1. iv) Improve compensatory strategies for effective fall prevention
  2. v) Improve awareness & control of COM & LOS v).
  3. vi) Improve utilization of sensory system & sensory integration mechanisms for balance

Benefits of Balance Training

  • Aging as it prevents
  • Injury recovery as there is a loss of proprioception from injury.
  • Core strength as it is the center for all movement.
  • Joint stabilization as it helps the body to contract the right muscle to contract at right time to stabilize the joint position sense.
  • Multisensory conditions as it provide the stimulation to proprioceptors and mechanoreceptors.
  • Controlled Instability.

Parameters of Balance-Training

  • For stabilization
    • Single-leg standing
    • Single-leg standing with reaching activity
    • Single-leg range of motion ( hip internal and external rotation)
    • Single-leg with lifting activity
  • For Strength
    • Squat (Single-leg)
    • Step-up
    • Lunge to balance
  • For Power
    • hop with stabilization in multiple planes
    • hoping with stabilization

 BALANCE EXERCISES

These exercises are designed to improve the individual ability to withstand challenges from postural sway caused by self-motion and the environment.

 

Static balance control

  1. Maintaining sitting.
  2. Half-kneeling,
  3. Standing postures on a firm surface
  4. Working on soft surfaces
  5. Narrowing the BOS, moving the arms, or closing the eyes.

On Hard surfaces.

  • To maintain static balance.
  1. Move some part (s) of the body and try to maintain his balance.
  2. First with Open then closed eyes.
  3. The external challenge from a therapist.
  4. Throw and catch exercises with the ball.

On Soft surfaces.

  • To maintain static balance.
  1. Move some part of the body and try to maintain his balance.
  2. First with Open then closed eyes.
  3. The external challenge from a therapist.
  4. Throw and catch exercises with ball

ANTICIPATORY BALANCE CONTROL EXERCISES

  1. Touch and grasp objects activity
  2. Catch and throwing ball activity

By

Dr. Bharti

Assistant Professor

Faculty of physiotherapy

 

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