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BALANCE AND STABILITY

BALANCE AND STABILITY

Balance and stability have a crucial role in exercise, which contributes to overall performance, the effectiveness of workouts, and injury prevention.

Some of the reasons why balance And stability are important are:

Injury prevention

Having a good balance reduces the risk of falling or getting injured during exercises, especially those which involve unstable surfaces or quick movements.

Functional fitness

Balance and stability play a huge role in simulating real-life movements and activities. If you improve your ability to perform daily tasks easily, it will reduce your chances of injury.

Performance enhancement

Good balance and stability improve your ability to perform exercises with proper form and techniques due to which maximum benefits could be attained with each movement.

Muscle engagement

Stability requires multiple muscles to work together. This helps in engaging many muscles at the same time, leading to a more well-rounded and effective workout.

Reduced risk of falls

Balance training enhances your ability to keep an equilibrium, especially in older adults, reducing the risk of falls and related injuries.

Overuse injury prevention

Overuse of specific muscle groups can cause injuries. To eliminate this risk Proper balance and stability training is needed to help distribute the workload equally among muscles.

Joints stability

Balance and stability exercises strengthen muscles around joints such as knees and ankles, providing better support during exercises and reducing the risk of sprains and strains.

Sport-specific injury prevention

Athletes can benefit from balance and stability training related to their specific sports, as it helps in movements and positions used in their activities, reducing the risk of sports-related injuries.

Exercises to improve balance and stability

To improve balance and stability, Some of the exercises which could be beneficial are :

  1. Single leg stance: stand on one leg and try to maintain this position for 30 seconds then switch to the other leg. To make it more challenging, close your eyes or stand on a soft or unstable surface.
  2. Planks: plank is really beneficial for good balance and stability as it engages your overall body muscles to hold this position.
  3. Single-Leg Deadlift: Stand on one leg and hinge forward at the hips, lowering your upper body while extending the opposite leg behind you. Keep your back straight and return to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat.
  4. Balance board exercises
  5. Stretches

Neurological conditions which affect balance and stability

Some neurological conditions which can affect a person’s balance and stability are :

Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Ataxia, Stroke, Neuropathy, Vertigo, Guillain Barre syndrome.

It's essential for individuals experiencing balance and stability issues to seek medical evaluation and diagnosis from a qualified healthcare professional. Early detection and appropriate management of these neurological conditions can help improve quality of life and reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Treatment may involve physical therapy, medication, or surgical interventions.

Role of a physical therapist in improving balance and stability

Physical therapists play a vital role in improving balance and stability for individuals with various conditions. They use their expertise to design personalized treatment plans that target specific areas of weakness and focus on enhancing overall stability and balance.

Author | Dr. Hira Ayub

Physiotherapist

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