Blue Hills Sports & Spine's Monthly Newsletter. Our regular assortment of handy and informative tips, tricks and trends to help answer your questions about rehabilitation and fitness.

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Blue Hills Sports & Spine's Monthly Newsletter
May 2016                                                                                           Issue # 63
All About Balance

Your ability to balance comes from a combination of senses and systems that work together to maintain the stability of your body. An issue with any one of these systems can cause significant problems with balance and make you at higher risk for falling or sustaining other injuries.Sensory information comes to your brain from your visual, proprioceptive and vestibular systems:
  • Visual system: We use vision to help our body know where it is in space...if it's upright, sideways or upside down in comparison to the "horizon". If you close your eyes, walk in the dark or have visual problems that limit your vision, your balance can be thrown off.
  • Proprioception system: All your joints, muscles and tendons have sensors in them to help them move correctly and also sense where they are in relation to other joints. It's how you can close your eyes and touch your nose. Sometimes referred to as "muscle memory". If you have problems with sensation (neuropathy) or have recurrent sprained ankles or have had joint surgery, your proprioceptive system can malfunction and affect your balance.
  • Vestibular system: There is system of balance in your inner ear that helps communicate to your brain the position of your head. It will let you know if you are upright, or, if you are moving in a straight line or not. Infections, problems with "crystals" in your inner ear as well as other conditions can affect your vestibular system and make balance very difficult.
At Blue Hills Sports & Spine we help patients address many balance issues as part of their regular rehabilitation from sports injuries, joint replacements and falls in the home. Making sure the balance systems are working well is critical in helping patients obtain a full recovery and hopefully help them prevent further injury in the future. The American Physical Therapy Association has put together some good guides on balance, conditions that can affect it and some things you can try at home to help. Click the photo to be taken to the resource page. If balance continues to be a problem for you, seek help from the experts at Blue Hills Sports & Spine.

The Majority Of Falls Happen At Home

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and trips to the emergency room. The statistics on falls show that the majority of them happen at home. While not all falls are preventable, many of them are and doing a simple home inspection to see if you have some areas that might put you at risk is a good idea. If you have family members who are aging, it's a good idea to do an inspection of their homes too. The time spent doing a home inspection and correcting potential problem areas could save lot's of time in an emergency room or in physical therapy. You might just save a life! The American Physical Therapy Association has put together a handy guide to help you through the home inspection. Click here for the handout and do an inspection today.
How Is Your Balance?

At Blue Hills Sports & Spine, we regularly work with patients to improve their balance. Maybe it's because they are recovering from a surgery, have a recurring history of falls, or a number or other causes. For many people, balance is something that CAN be improved with a little time and effort. We have put together a basic balance program for you to try. If you know you have balance problems or have a history of falls, it's best  to work with an expert as you start a program. Start with the easy stuff may be surprised to find out that your balance isn't as good as you thought it was. If you find you need some help with your balance training, come and see us and we will get you well balanced! Click here for the program.

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