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Fall Prevention: 3 Tips to Better Balance

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3 Tips for Better Balance

Having good balance is so important for fall prevention and healthy aging. Everyone has experienced a misstep or tripped sometime in life. The ability to recover without falling so often requires being able to balance on one foot.

Schehr Center for Wellness Balance Video

Test your safety for fall prevention, attempt to stand balanced on one foot. Then, try the other.

To be well balanced, barring any medical disorders, you should be able to stand on one foot for 30 seconds. If you can stand for at least 15 seconds, practice more, gradually increasing your time to 30 seconds. You must be able to shift your body over your base of support, which in this case is one foot. There are several reasons that this may be difficult, but the more balanced you are, the safer you are.

If you are unable to balance on one foot for 30 seconds, try these 3 things.

  1. Stand, feet apart. Place your hands on your waist. Use your hands to guide your body, shifting over your right foot as you pick up the left.  Do the same with balancing on the left foot, picking up the right. If you are starting to get your balance, continue to practice.
Standing with feet apart
Standing with feet apart
Shifting weight ontoright foot
Shift to the right and pick the left foot up

If you are not getting it, try this:

2. Stand and march in place, gradually increasing the height of your knees, while slowing down your pace, so that gradually, you are able to stand on one foot.

March in place to build balance/fall prevention

March In Place

 

If your body still does not seem to cooperate:

3. Stand tilted sideways against a wall or in a doorway.  You should allow 1.5 feet distance from the wall.  While standing only on the foot that is closest to the wall, rock the foot sideways toward and away from the wall for 15 seconds, making sure you tilt to the outside edge of the foot. Then practice on the other foot.  After 15 seconds on both sides, go back to #1 on this list and try to balance on one foot after shifting your weight.

balancing against wall to improve fall prevention
Stand on one foot, leaning against the wall.
rocking foot to re-balance for fall prevention
Rock foot side to side

There may be other factors which affect the ability to balance on on one foot.

Asymmetries in posture, including a forward body tilt, listing to either side,  one shoulder forward of the other, or any combination of these, makes it more difficult to balance on one foot.  If you can’t  balance as well on one foot than the other, it also makes you more likely to fall. Strengthening your balance is one of the best things you can do to for fall prevention.

If you are having problems, and feel you might be at risk of falling, a hands-on, holistic, physical therapy approach helps to re-balance the body over each foot by working directly with the muscles, then maintaining it with a few easy exercises. Let me help you with healthy aging.

Call 410-665-3223 or contact @schehrcenter to schedule a consultation.

For more on balance Take the Body Symmetry Test

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