All Posts tagged poor balance

Balance & Leg Strengthening

Here is a great question from Dr. Ray Sue. I thought you might want to see my response.
Hi Jeff,
I had a long time elderly patient come in that has been suffering from falls of late.  After going through a battery of tests (for her eyes, ears and CT for her brain) it was determined that she simply needs to get in better condition and gain more strength.
My thoughts were to work on her ankle/knee/hip balance and proprioception (with 1 and 2 legged stances with eyes open and closed), strengthen her quads (with ball squats) and her glutes with prone glute squeezes and extensions.  I’ve had her try and do sit and stands but, she definitely has trouble. 
Is there anything else you’d recommend or changes to what I’ve recommended?
Thanks so much!
Dr Tucker’s RESPONSE: 
I think you are definitely on the right tract. Now lets make it functional!
Additional programming could include this progression:
Single-leg (SL) Balance w/ multiplanar reach with the up leg (she can hold on to a chair)
SL, 1-arm Diagonal movements while holding a light weight in the moving arm
SL windmill moves with the arms
SL Romanian deadlift (partial movement)
Double leg squats (or 1/2 squats or just small knee bends) progressing to SL squat (or 1/2 squats, or just small knee bends) holding something (free weights) in her hands (not holding onto a chair) 
Begin lunge progression or at least stepping forwards and backwards
Begin going up and down a step
Hope this helps. 


Whole Body Vibration Update

 A 12-week course of low-frequency vibration appears to be safe and feasible for improving dynamic balance in women with fibromyalgia, new research findings suggest.

Narcis Gusi, PhD, with the University of Extremadura in Caceres, Spain,
and colleagues reported their findings in the August 2010 issue of
Arthritis Care & Research.

As most of you know I use the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS) for neural and musculoskeletal rehab, but this article discusses whole-body vibration (WBV).  In WBV, a patient stands on a platform that oscillates at a particular frequency and amplitude, causing muscle contractions through stimulation of sensory receptors.

The study included 41 women aged 41 to 65 years who were randomized
either to a control group or to the vibration intervention, which
included a 30-minute session of instruction plus 3 sessions of
self-administered WBV per week for 12 weeks. Each session consisted of 6
repetitions of a 45- to 60-second, 12.5-Hz vibration.

WBV  has been shown to improve body balance and bone mass density (osteoporosis) in women. It may help muscle conditioning, endurance, and pain.

Arthritis Care Res. 2010;62:1072–1078.