The Importance of Balance
Video by Dr. Anthony Vasile
Balance Training Drill Number 1 Far Point Gaze Stabilization
In my previous article we talked about the importance of doing baseline testing for balance. As a chiropractor I am constantly helping people get out of pain. This can be neck pain, low back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, ect. When we do not trust our balance or if we have bad balance we stay in a survival mode which causes our shoulders to roll forward and we hold excess tensions. This limits our ability to move freely, causes compensations which in turn leads to inflammation and pain. Doing this baseline test gives us a starting point to focus on the following drills that will help train balance. This drill is focusing on the inner ear system which is one of the three senses we use for balance.
Most people rely on vision for their balance so it is important to train the other two systems to achieve excellent balance. This helps raise our confidence and can prevent injuries or accidents from falls which may lead to greater complications down the road. This exercise is very simple. The first part is making sure we start with and challenging but safe position before we start the head movements. This is known after doing the baseline testing. Then it is simply finding a far point on a wall and keeping the eyes on that spot. Then we do head movements side to side, up and down and then diagonally in each direction for a total of 8 motions. This can be pretty funny to do when it’s done looking into the mirror. It is like that creepy doll that doesn’t stop looking at you. I have attached a research article explaining the benefits of such an exercise. It found that after 6 weeks of gaze stabilization exercises there was decreased sensation of dizziness and improved sensitivity to head movements which leads to improved balance.
Remember moving well is just one of the three factors to health. Training balance is a vital skill that everyone can improve on especially as we age to prevent potential injuries from occurring. We must also continue to eat well and manage our stress while receiving regular chiropractic adjustments to keep our spine healthy.
Clendaniel RA. The effects of habituation and gaze stability exercises in the treatment of unilateral vestibular hypofunction: a preliminary results. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2010;34(2):111-116. doi:10.1097/NPT.0b013e3181deca01
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