Everyone has had that moment where they are a little unsteady or off-balance. For many that feeling passes very quickly. There are those though who have ongoing issues with balance problems.
Every year, an estimated 36 million elderly adults in the United States experience a fall. Often, that occurs because of balance problems, either long-term or short-term. This can lead to emergency room visits and injury, even death.
The good news is, in many cases balance issues can be corrected or reduced.
Symptoms of Balance Problems
If you have a balance problem you may notice that when you walk you feel like you are going to fall or you stagger. Other symptoms include:
- Feeling like you are falling or are about to fall
- Vertigo or dizziness
- A general feeling of unsteadiness
- Blurred vision
- Feeling faint
- Disorientation or confusion
Other symptoms that you might experience are
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Increased blood pressure
These symptoms may last a few moments, a few days, a few months, or even a few years.
Causes of Balance Problems
Many things can cause balance problems, including several medical conditions:
- Joint pain
- Joint injury
- UTI (elderly)
- Benign paroxysmal vertigo
- Certain medications
- Concussion or head injury
- Certain medications
- Certain medical conditions
- Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness
- Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
- Meniere’s disease
- Vestibular neuritis
- Acoustic neuroma
- Motion sickness
- Sinus infection
- Stuffy head from allergies or the common cold
A common cause of balance issues in the elderly comes from lack of mobility or movement. The person doesn’t move around as much and the core muscles, those associated with balance, weaken and the person gets more and more unsteady. The problem is, they are often afraid to walk because they might fall, but not moving around could actually lead to a fall. This is another reason that regular exercise every day is so important.
Treatments for Balance Disorders
The treatments for balance disorders depend on what is causing them. For instance, if the cause is a medication that the person is taking, their doctor may give them a different medication. In some cases, treating the condition that is causing the balance issue works well.
Exercises that strengthen the core and legs can help improve balance, as can chiropractic care. As balance is restored in the body and the central nervous system can function well, the organs begin working efficiently and they are more solid on their feet.
Some patients may also be a candidate for Cellular Therapy, which can actually regrow tissue to strengthen joints, like the knee, and improve balance and confidence.
At Sandstone Health we are committed to serving our patients and ensuring that they receive the best care possible. Make an appointment today with one of our chiropractors or regenerative medicine specialists. We want to be your health partner.