Everyone experiences balance problems at some point. Common circumstances like standing up from a chair too quickly or a drop in blood pressure from dehydration can cause dizziness that temporarily knocks you off balance.
Balance is regulated by an intricate system of signals between the brain and body. Damage to the mechanisms that funnel sounds through the inner ear to the brain can lead to balance problems that increase the risk of falling and injuries, especially as we age.
While some of the factors that lead to balance loss may be beyond your control, there are steps you can take to improve your balance and lower your risk of accidents and injuries, especially as you age.
Read on as Dr. Neil Ghodadra discusses the health and lifestyle factors that can affect your balance, increasing your likelihood of accidents and injuries as a result, and offers a few tips to help you improve your balance and reduce those risks.
Factors that affect your balance
There are a number of factors that can compromise your balance. Some of the most common include:
- Head trauma
- Damage to the inner ear
- Muscle atrophy
- Neurological conditions
Older adults tend to be more prone to balance problems and related injuries due to common underlying health conditions like deconditioned muscles, poor circulation, low blood pressure, and iron deficiencies.
Tips for increasing your balance
It might sound counterintuitive at first, but one of the best things you can do to maintain and improve your balance is to stay active. Low impact exercise like walking, swimming, and cycling maintain muscle and core strength that helps sustain balance.
Stretching is also an important component in improving your posture and balance. Activities like yoga and tai chi are excellent ways to strengthen your muscles and stay flexible. Muscle strength, balance, and flexibility work together to lower your injury risk or minimize the severity of an injury if it occurs.
Another frequently overlooked but key element to any fitness routine is wearing the right footwear. Some people need more support than others, so wearing the right shoes for your body type, especially if you have flat feet or low arches, is key to preventing injuries.
Improving your posture and balance will make participating in physical activities and exercise safer and more effective. Dr. Ghodadra can help devise a customized plan to help you stay fit and active at every age.
For more information about the potential causes and treatment options for balance problems and disorders, contact us today to schedule an appointment with NEIL GHODADRA, M.D., at one of two convenient locations in Thousand Oaks or West Los Angeles, California.