Balance Archive


Dizziness demystified

Vertigo is a symptom, not a condition. It can make people feel lightheaded, faint, unsteady, or like the room is spinning. Common conditions causing vertigo include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular migraines, vestibular neuritis, and M'nière's disease. People should see a doctor after a single vertigo episode to determine the cause. Depending on the cause, treatments might include medications, a canalith repositioning procedure, vestibular therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Staying active, not sedentary, between episodes can help people with vertigo feel better.

Protect yourself from falls outside the home

Many strategies can help people avoid falls in public places. For example, people can wear shoes with nonslip treads in stores and office buildings, use a rollator for stability in crowded areas such as airports or shopping malls, hold handrails on public staircases (or avoid them), avoid parking too close to vehicles in parking lots, or use the handicap stall in public bathrooms. Another important strategy is regularly strengthening leg and core muscles and practicing balance exercises (such as standing on one leg).

Try this: Balancing act

Balancing on one leg for 10 seconds or longer is a good way to improve balancing skills.

Band together for stronger legs

Using your own body weight for exercise is simple and straightforward, but sometimes you need to further challenge your muscles. Resistance bands are versatile, portable, and easy to use to strengthen legs. These four leg exercises with resistance bands will enhance your lower-body workouts.

Prepare for a fall

More than one in four adults ages 65 and older fall each year, and about 20% of those tumbles result in a broken bone or head injury. The best way to prevent falls is to stay in good shape by improving core strength, balance, and flexibility. People can further protect themselves by learning to fall in a way that reduces their risk of serious injury. Practicing falling can help develop muscle memory, so the body can automatically react to the situation, and help those who have previously suffered a fall overcome the fear of taking another tumble.

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