Why Test Your Balance?

Good Balance Improves Brain Function

What does good balance have to do with preserving memory and brain function?

Our cerebellum, at the base of our brain, governs balance, as well as precision, coordination, and timing.  The movements of daily life keep our cerebellum in a constant state of activity.

It’s this constant activity that keeps the rest of our brain on its toes. A healthy cerebellum (with an active lifestyle) feeds our brain a steady stream of information to keep it actively firing.

Bad Balance Leads to Bad Brain Function

This explains why symptoms of cerebellum degeneration, such as bad balance, often tie into loss of memory, poor ability to learn, and weakened brain endurance. Our brain isn’t getting enough “activation” from our cerebellum to keep it charged and running well. Declining balance is also strongly linked to dementia!

Brain Overwhelm from Bad Balance

When our outer cerebellum degenerates, it no longer filters sensory input leading to brain overload.

Symptoms may include restless leg syndrome, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and others that you wouldn’t think could be related to balance.

Do You have Balance Problems?

  • Do you wobble if you stand on one foot with your eyes closed more than 15 seconds?
  • Can you walk in a straight heel-to-toe line with your eyes closed without stumbling?
  • Can you stand with your feet together and close your eyes without swaying?

 

This could be a sign of compromised brain health and needs to be measured since “What Gets Measured, Gets Improved” With a balance test baseline, we can design a Balance Rehab Program to guide your improvements.

 

Many who think their balance is fine, are surprised when testing reveals early balance problems that can be helped

  • There are almost 5000 published papers on force plate balance testing showing it is the gold standard with diagnostic value in conditions ranging from concussion & traumatic brain injury to Parkinson’s disease.
  • The system we use has a normative database of over 17,000 test results so your results can show if you have the balance of someone years younger or years older than you.
  • The system shows a Fall Risk Assessment: Low, Medium, and High
  • The system shows your improvements eg. From high to low fall risk, from the balance of an 80 year-old to the balance of a 45 year-old.
  • This testing is critical to understanding brain & central nervous system, somatosensory, vestibular, and oculomotor systems.
  • It is ideal to have a baseline test of your balance. Should you have a concussion or traumatic brain injury, we can quickly see the effects and have a target for recovery.
  • A groundbreaking paper published in the Journal of Vestibular Research, Does Vestibular Damage Cause Cognitive Dysfunction in Humans,demonstrates that the degree of damage to the vestibular system is directly correlated to changes in the hippocampus, which is a key component of memory and higher cognitive function.
  • A more recent paper published in the journal Stroke entitled Association of Postural Instability With Asymptomatic Cerebrovascular Damage and Cognitive Declinen   discusses the irrefutable link between poor balance, cognitive decline, and small blood vessel disease in the brain. Subjects that had a reduced ability to stand on one leg were clearly shown to have lower cognitive functions of memory and spatial awareness. The lead author of this study urged that those with postural instability (impaired balance) should receive special attention as they may be at greater risk of cognitive decline.

With early detection of balance problems, you have the ability to improve. As with anything else in your body, the longer you wait to act, the less likely you will be able to fully recover much needed function and perform at your highest ability.

The better your ability to balance, the better your ability to think!

Schedule Your Balance Test Now! Call us at (623) 776-0206.

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