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: 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! 

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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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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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Brain Health Series: Chronic Pain and Brain Function

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 starting to gain 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...

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For Better Health, Be Like a KidĀ Again

he other night, I was watching my barely one-year-old son attempt to pick up a garden hose in the backyard. Starting in a deep squat, he kept trying to stand up with something that was pretty heavy for his size. Standing unsupported without holding anything is a skill he has yet to master, and here he was trying something that seemed physically impossible. After about 50 tries, he finally got it and looked just so proud of himself when he did.

In watching my children grow over the last several years, I realized kids are invigorated by the most difficult of physical challenges. Driven by curiosity to learn about their environment, they develop new motor skills along the way. I am not sure where we lost this as adults, but developing this mindset and drive of a child would solve most of our health problems. Adopting this approach would bring more mindfulness to movement, paving the way for healthier aging. Let’s talk more about what we can learn from children to make our own...

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How Does Balance Work Anyway?

Every wondered how your body keeps its balance? Well wonder no more! This is the question we will address in this blog post.

We often work with balance issues that start to appear in all age groups. It's no secret that the human body is complicated. Balance is no different. Our brain relies on input from several different systems to map out our position relative to our environment and help us stay upright to move about our world.  

Our body uses three main systems for this purpose. All of these systems communicate information with one another using the nervous system, so your brain has awareness of what position you are in at all times. A majority of this happens on a subconscious level and it is not until there is a issue that we become aware. Balance problems arise when any one of these systems, a combination of them, or the communication between these systems start to malfunction. 

Vision

Our brain relies on input from our eyes to determine how we...

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