Physical therapy for balance focuses on the ability of the joints and brain to communicate, the balance system in the ear, and vision. Physiotherapy works to coordinate all three areas in one exercise such as standing on one foot, first with the eyes open, and then with the eyes closed. In addition, physiotherapy improves balance with increased joint flexibility, walking, and lower-extremity exercises.
"Core strength is very important for balance. If the abdominal muscles in your core are weak, they cannot support your limbs, especially when you're walking. If the gluteal muscles in your buttocks and hips aren't strong, they won't be able to propel you forward,"
Two exercises that will improve muscle strength is bridges and wall planks. Consult a physiotherapist before adding any exercise into your balance program.
Tai Chi and Yoga
Tai chi and yoga are exercises that make you pay attention to the control and quality of movement, rather than the quantity, which improves your balance. In tai chi, you practice slow, flowing motions and shift your weight from one limb to another. Yoga incorporates a poses that focus on correct postures and breathing. Both exercises increase flexibility, range of motion, leg and core strength, reflexes and your ability to balance in multiple stances.
If you can't see where you're going, your fall risk goes up. The solution may be as simple as a new eyeglasses prescription. If you have an increased risk for other eye conditions, you may need an eye exam more often.
Assistive walking devices
A cane or a walker will provide more stability and confidence when walking. Walkers are available with wheels intended for different terrain, lockable brakes, seats, baskets, and other features such as headlights. Canes are available with various handgrips and bases. Seeing a physiotherapist is the best way to get trained on how to effectively use these devices to help improve your balance.