Balance and proprioception are all about our ability to stay safely upright without injury. In order for us to remain upright, our brain needs constant input from our muscles and joints.
This input enables the brain to monitor our position and make corrections when necessary.
If the brain receives poor information, or if it receives the information too slowly, then we are prone to injury, such as spraining the ankle or repeatedly irritating the knee.
There are many more examples of problems caused by poor proprioception and your physiotherapist will discuss this with you if it is deemed appropriate.
Why would my balance and proprioception be poor?
This could be either because you have been sedentary for a while possibly due to illness or pain, or it is common to have problems following an injury.
How is this addressed?
We address this problem by challenging the balance systems in a controlled and safe way. We will gradually increase the difficulty to maintain your safety. As you continue to practice the brain “learns” to communicate with the body more efficiently and with time, it should be able to initiate corrective movements quickly and without effort or thought.
If you practice your exercises with enough regularity, the body will be able to keep itself safer, and will be less prone to injury. We do this using a range of techniques and equipment. Some are relatively simple, like balance beams, and some are more hi-tec, like the Biodex at Redcar Primary Care Hospital
Is it painful?
It is perfectly normal to have some aches and soreness when you exercise muscles and joints, even with simple balance exercises. New aches should settle down as the body gets used to the new movements and adapts.
How often will I have to come and for how long?
This varies and will depend on your individual requirements. the greatest gains are seen when you practise your exercises on a daily basis at home.
I feel I need more support
If you’re in the Middlesbrough area, Middlesbrough Council has a range of programmes to give you varying degrees of support.
For those in the Redcar and Cleveland area, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council also provide a range of programmes to give you varying degrees of support.
These schemes are a good stepping stone if you feel that you need a little more ongoing support to help you once you have completed your course of physiotherapy. Please talk to your physiotherapist if you would like to be referred to one of the services and they will recommend to your GP that you are referred to the scheme if it is appropriate.