The importance of our nervous system and the way our brain and body communicate is imperative in our life. If there is a disconnection between our brain and body all sorts of things can happen: We can have coordination troubles, learning difficulties, changes in personality, anxiety, and we can have brain fog or just feel like the lights are not on.
One way we can assess the integrity of this is through our balance system. This is a test of one’s ability to know where they are in space and be able to adapt to the environmental influences that come our way.
As children we work on this balance system constantly. From the moment we try to start moving and walking, to climbing trees, to walking along ledges, to jumping on trampolines, to doing cartwheels and handstands. All these are great to challenge our nervous system. But as we age, life takes over and we don’t have time for these kid things, or maybe we are ‘too old for that’. Also, in today’s age, electronics and screen time have a lot to answer for our inability to move and deterioration of our neural function.
The feeling of being balanced is the result of three main systems in our body that need to work together. The three areas are PROPRIOCEPTION (information from all the joint receptors in the body in relation to your body in space), OCULAR (vision reference from your eyes) and VESTIBULAR (this is compiled of three semicircular canals, utriculus and sacculus, which are all located in your ears). When they all are working together we are in a state of equilibrium or balance, allowing us to move confidently throughout our life.
But if one or more areas falters, we are then in a state of disequilibrium and have lost the sensation of stillness in life. These problems are exhibited by feelings of anxiety, bumping into things, falling over, dizziness, vertigo, motion sickness and many more.
If we are in a state of disequilibrium the risks of falling comes apparent. A fall at any age can be detrimental, but as we get older the likelihood increases and also does the chance of hip fracture. Approximately one in three over the age of 65 will fall in any one year, and 4% of these will end up in hospital with a hip or pelvis fracture that then incapacitates them, impacting their mobility, independence and confidence.
With a fall, the individual can end up in a ‘fall cycle’ which means they had a fall, they then restrict what they do from the fear of falling again. It sounds reasonable but in actual fact it starts to impact on the brain and your nervous system greatly. The less you do, the less muscle activation and coordination you will have, leading to increasing your chances of falling again. The old adage of ‘if you don’t move it, you lose it’ comes into play. So get moving.
Here at Neurohealth Chiropractic we assess and help detect early problems in the balance systems of the body. We use a software program called PONDERA which can electronically evaluate your balance and then give a relative functional age and determine your falls risk. It can also let us determine which part of your balance system needs work and then tailor specific exercises to help rehabilitate the weaken area.
If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment at Neurohealth Chiropractic – please call the clinic on 9905 9099 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the contact form from our website www.neurohealthchiro.com.au
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