Balance Exercises For Physiotherapy: A Short Guide

After a long, boring work call online, do you enjoy the feeling of doing a full-body stretch and getting out of the chair and letting out a huge sigh? Feels good right? That is exactly what a good exercise regime can make you feel. Besides improving mood, it can also help increase blood circulation, reduce stress, and can keep you healthy. It can also reduce joint pains and improve mobility. Physiotherapy exercises can work wonders, as it allows you to have a plan that suits your needs and is often created by a trained professional after medical checkups.

All You Need To Know About Balance Exercises in Physiotherapy

Physical therapy or physiotherapy is a form of treatment that aids in the restoration and maintenance of the physical ability of an individual such as mobility and well-being. It also helps in the rehabilitation and recovery process of any form of physical injury that might impact normal movements of the human body or parts of it. Balance exercises in physiotherapy involves a deep understanding of the body and the forms of injury that can arise, and it aims at addressing such injuries in the most efficient way possible. Since it involves planned regimes that are well-paced, it can make rehabilitation a smooth process.

Exercises To Improve Balance

Have you ever watched someone attempt the lemon and spoon race and wondered, “How do you do that!”. Balance is vital for our daily functioning and any trouble with it can make our tasks tedious. To maintain the balance of the mind and body, it is important to engage in exercises to improve balance. These can range from mindful activities, yoga, or even physical exercises such as running, stretching, or more. Here are a few that might help you improve your balance.

  • Tight rope walk

Oh, you don't have to be suspended mid-air for this. Lay out a line on the floor from one end to another, and keeping both your arms wide open towards the side, you can walk on the line, without stepping outside of it. 

  • 1 Leg stance

This is something simple to do, where you stand on one foot. The other can be kept close to the knee. You can stretch your arms above your head and join the. Often the image of a “yogic pose”, can help strengthen your muscles. Repeat the stance in both legs, at comfortable intervals.

  • Rock the boat

A simple exercise, where you stand on your feet, at hip-width, and slowly lift each leg, shifting the weight between legs. Since this includes movement of the legs, it can help improve balance that static exercises may not improve

Balance Disorder Exercises

Some of the exercises to further prevent poor balances are

  • Heal-to-toe walking

Walking with the heal of the front foot touching the toe of the back foot for about 10 steps helps increase balance when walking

  • Romberg exercise

Sounds complicated? It isn't. All you need to do is stand against the wall, with a chair in front to use as support. Keeping your hands to your side, and legs close, do this for 30 seconds every day. As you progress, you can also try the same with closed eyes, and for longer durations.

  • Inner Ear Balance Exercises

Since we know that balance is important for our daily functioning, it is important to take care of our vestibular system, and its impact on balance. Inner ear balance is important as it plays a vital role in your understanding of space and balance. Here are a few easy tips to take care of your inner ear balance.

Vestibular rehabilitation

This is one of the balance exercises in physiotherapy that requires a medical professional and a strict regime. This is a process, wherein in a controlled environment, the trigger of vertigo is located, and the brain is exposed to the same trigger to build tolerance, and eventually allow the brain to cope with the trigger. As mentioned earlier, this needs to be done only under a professional's guidance.

  • The Epley Maneuver

It sounds like a training manual for someone wanting to go to space. But hear us out.

Sit on the edge of the bed, and turn towards the side that you think the vertigo is coming from.

Place a pillow behind you, and quickly lie down on your back, where the shoulder rests on your pillow, while your head is reclined, and maintain the position for 30 seconds.

Now turn your head in the opposite direction, and maintain it for 30 seconds. 

Now, turn your head in the same direction, all the way into the bed, hold it for 30 seconds and sit up.

This is done to move the calcium crystal in the ear, if it moves around. Does anyone remember the Pinball game on old computers?

  • The Semont Maneuver

This can be performed if the Epley maneuver does not work. To do this, you must:

-Sit on the bed, turning your head in the direction that the vertigo is from

-Quickly lie down on the opposite side of your body, that your head is turned towards.

-Wait for a few minutes

-Quickly turn to the other side, while maintaining the same head direction.

This should be performed at least thrice a day until a 24-hour time frame passes without vertigo.

Free Balance Exercises In Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can be expensive and inaccessible sometimes, due to several reasons. While is it always better to have a professional guide you in terms of mobility and exercises, simple everyday exercises can help build balance in general. Here are a few examples of exercises, that can be performed at a gentle intensity in your everyday life

Running and jogging

These are simple exercises, that with comfortable gear, can help one with increasing one's balance. Runs and jogs can be paced according to one's ability and are easy to perform.

Cycling

This can also help increase your hand-eye coordination and help increase your balance. It can also provide relief for stiff muscles, and increase endurance and muscle strength.

Swimming

This is also a very good way to improve one's balance and muscle strength. The buoyancy of the water will help in the fluid movement of joints, and can also be very relaxing.

Physio Leg Exercises

Dread leg day at the gym?

Here are a few easy to perform exercises that can help increase the muscle strength in your legs. This can further improve your stance and balance.

Single leg squats

  • Begin by standing upright on one leg.
  • Push your hips backward like you’re going to sit down and bend your knee into a single leg squat position.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Keep your knee aligned with the center of your foot.

Single leg bridge for hamstrings

  • Lay down with knees bent about 90° with a weight on the hips for increased resistance.
  • Lift one leg and push the hips upward by squeezing the glutes and lower slowly.
  • Do not arch the lower back.

Calf raises

  • Keep back straight and abs tight – Dumbbell on the side of the working leg
  • Leaning on a wall to take an inclined position to do the ankle extensions

To keep in mind

 While imbalance can be a minor concern, there can be several underlying medical implications to them. It is always advisable to consult a medical practitioner if the imbalance is recurring. Here are a few things to keep in mind

Medical tests

It is important to get medical tests done to ascertain the cause of imbalances. Tests like Posturography, Electronystagmography and videonystagmography, Rotary chair test, Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials test, and Imaging scans and tests can help narrow down causes and understand the root problems. This will also help in a critical medical interventions such as balance exercises in physiotherapy and other forms of care.