Video FAQ: How Does Balance Work?

 

As the name of our business (Advanced Balance Clinic) implies, we spend a lot of our day working with those who have balance problems! So we are often asked to explain where balance problems might be coming from.

Balance is a complex interaction between your sensory systems, the brain, and your muscles. Your sense constantly take in information about your environment and how you are moving relative to your environment, they communicate this information with your brain, and your brain then tells your body how to move. Most of this happens without you realizing it until there is a balance problem! Read more about the balance systems here or watch the video above for further information.

A few simple screening tests and measures help us determine what is causing an individuals balance problem, and we then treat what we find! Some balance problems are caused by simple muscle weakness, whereas others might be due to vision problems or vertigo. If we are unable to treat the problem,...

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Using the Four Tendencies to Improve Your Health

As we covered in a previous story, one of the most critical steps toward better health is to identify your unique habit formation patterns. Health is built around a foundation of habits, however what works for one person often does not work for another.

In the last story, we explored the difference between abstainers and moderators for habit distinctions based on the work of Gretchen Rubin. Her work goes a step further and identifies four different habit tendencies. Identifying your unique tendency is key in setting yourself up for success.

Tendencies are Defined By Expectations

Each tendency is defined by what type of expectations they respond to.

Internal expectations: expectations imposed by the self. For example, New Years Resolutions.

External expectations: expectations others set for us. For example, traffic regulations or deadlines.

The Four Tendencies

Let’s define each tendency and describe how they play out in health habits. As you read, see if...

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Video FAQ: Does Shoulder Weakness Always Cause Pain?

 

There is a common misconception that muscle weakness around a joint always causes pain within that joint. This could not be further from the truth! It is possible to have a weak and painful joint, but sometimes people also have pain when they are strong. Pain is often more complicated than faulty body mechanics or muscle weakness.

For the shoulder joint in particular, there are indicators outside of pain that point to muscle imbalances within the joint. These might include:

  • Tight shoulders
  • Shallow breathing
  • Weak grip strength
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands
  • Muscle weakness in the forearm, elbow, or wrist
  • A loss of shoulder motion

If you are experiencing any of these you could benefit from a shoulder strengthening program! Shoulders provide stability for use of the arm and hand, so shoulder joint health is very important. Consider seeing a physical or occupational therapist for an appropriate shoulder exercise progression based on your needs. 

 

Choose how you age....

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Video FAQ: Why Should I Know How to Get On and Off the Floor?

 

One of the first skills we address with new patients is getting on and off the floor. In the event of a fall, this can be a life-saving skill! But there are also many benefits of getting on and off the floor for anyone of any age. 

The first step we take is to make sure someone can get on and off the floor as safely as possible. This reduces fear of falling and ending up on the floor and gives someone the confidence to know what to do in the event this happened. Then we bring more fun and creativity into the mix.

Getting on and off the floor takes your knees and hips through a larger joint range of motion than sitting in a chair, keeping you strong and healthy! Sitting on the floor also has core strengthening benefits. 

If you are not feeling confident about your ability to get on and off the floor or are afraid to try this on your own, stop by the clinic any Friday between 11am and 1pm for a floor transfer screening. 

 

Choose how you age. Choose how you...

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Video: Recap of the Movement for Brain Health Workshop

 

For those who were unable to attend our Movement for Brain Health Workshop, we recorded a video recap of the material we presented. 

In this video we cover:

  • The strong connection between mobility and brain health
  • What your balance and walking might indicate about your brain health
  • How chronic pain impacts the aging brain
  • What mobility screenings can tell you about your brain health
  • Different types of exercise and the mind benefits they have

And so much more!

We hope you enjoy and take something away that can positively impact your health! 

 

Choose how you age. Choose how you 2019. Join our January Movement Challenge to kick off your new year!

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Video FAQ: What Exactly is a Fall?

 

One of the biggest problems surrounding falls is a lack of understanding of what a fall actually is and when it should be reported. In this video we address one of our most commonly asked questions, "What exactly is a fall?"

Long story short, a fall is defined as ANY UNCONTROLLED DESCENT. There can be some confusion, because most people only consider it a fall if they fell all the way to the ground. But a fall includes catching yourself on a wall or furniture, falling onto a bed, or even plopping into a chair! 

There can be a negative stigma surrounding falls, and we hope this helps clear some of that up. Falls are nothing to be ashamed of and also nothing to be taken lightly. 

If you think you might be having falls, feel unsteady, or think you might be at risk of falls reach out to a trained healthcare provider for a screening. Just a few simple physical tests and measures can give you a lot of information about your overall health and future risk of falls. 

...

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Alignment 101: Why We Teach Alignment

At Advanced Balance Clinic, a major part of our treatment philosophy focuses on body alignment to help get people moving better. When we refer to alignment, we mean how each body part is positioned relative to each other. For example, if you are standing and you look down where is your foot pointed relative to your hip? Is in angled out, angled in, or pointed straight forward? You might wonder why we spend so much time emphasizing these subtle variations throughout the body.

There are several components to this answer. The human body is complex. We might be focused on alignment, but also realize this is far from the whole picture. Take chronic pain for example. A focus on alignment might be a good start for some people, but pain is much more complex than meets the eye. More and more research demonstrates that chronic pain has nothing to do with what we call “posture” and is not even not well correlated with disease state. For example, someone can have terrible...

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Are You an Abstainer or a Moderator?

In a previous story, we discussed the importance of finding your why and changing your mindset for better health. However, this is just the first step of the process. Finding better health and living life to the fullest is a journey, one which is full of layers. Knowing why you want to live a better life and then changing your mindset to one of growth is just the first layer. The next big step is to learn more about yourself and how you form habits in order to make meaningful change.

Ever wonder why some people do just fine quitting a bad habit cold turkey while others who try that approach fail within a matter of days and go right back to what they were doing? This is the difference between an abstainer and a moderator, as Gretchen Rubin outlines in her book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. Several years ago, this author caught onto these subtle differences among people that make a big impact in terms of habit formation, and dove into...

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Health Has Everything to Do With Your Mindset

At Advanced Balance Clinic, we firmly believe that health is not the absence of disease. Our mission is to bridge the gap between managing a medical condition to living a vibrant, healthy life. Living a life of vitality is a journey, and we are here to facilitate that process through a variety of means. Healthy living looks very different for everyone.

In our years of experience as therapists, we realized there was one big difference in our clients who make drastic improvement to their quality of life and those who don’t. No matter what the diagnosis was, the answer is not found in one particular exercise, medication, or diet plan… There is no magic bullet solution when it comes to health.

So what does actually make a difference?

The answer is MINDSET!

When we first start working with new clients, progress will not be made unless we help them get to the root of their motivations, habit patterns, and overall mindset. We boiled our process down into smaller pieces to...

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Brain Health Series: Balance, Walking, and Brain Health

Brain health in is a topic not discussed often enough, especially within the medical community. The conversation around mental health and access to mental health services has been increasing in recent years, however the aging brain is often left out of the conversation. There are so many questions left unanswered surrounding the decline of brain health associated with aging. The medical profession has made observations about those who ultimately experience brain atrophy and those who don’t, so we are slowly gaining clarity. However, there are still many questions left unanswered.

Research has identified some clear correlations and patterns in those who ultimately receive a diagnosis of dementia. Keep in mind, however, that correlation does not equal causation. We know that balance problems and risk of falls increase with increasing severity of cognitive decline. We know poor mental health increases the risk of developing dementia. We know that muscle weakness is associated...

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