Balance and equilibrium are topics that come up frequently in the office. Many seniors struggle with balance and fear that they may have a catastrophic fall. In other cases, younger people may also have issues with balance. Why is this the case?
Proper balance and a healthy spine and nervous system are interconnected. At Precision Chiropractic, we treat movements in the structure of your spine (known as structural shifts). Over time, bones in the spine, shoulder, pelvis and other regions of the skeleton may move out of place. In some instances, these movements can be drastic and can even be visualized. For instance, have you ever seen an individual that has one shoulder higher than the other? Have you ever seen a person in which their waste line sits much higher on one side than the other? These are large examples of shifts in structure. Often times these shifts can come on a smaller level. Vertebrae in your spine can move just a couple millimeters or degrees. These “minor shifts” in structure can cause major problems.
You may be asking “What does this have to do with balance?” First, when the bones in your spine and particularly your pelvis shift out of place, your leg length will change. These changes can be very significant. We compare your leg length from side to side on every visit. On an initial visit, many times individuals will have one leg that is a half inch to a full inch shorter than the other leg. This drastically affects how they walk (known as the gait cycle). When we have one leg that is shorter than the other we do not bear weight evenly and strike the ground fluidly. This lack of balance in leg length leads to an overall lack of balance.
Secondly, some individuals have difficulty with balance because the nervous system is not functioning properly. Every action of your body is controlled by your nervous system. The function of your organs, your breathing, and you’re thinking are controlled by your nervous system. When the nervous system is impaired, your brain may not receive the correct signals about your body’s position (known as proprioception). Additionally, when your nervous system and inner ear are not working cohesively and effectively, balance can be dramatically affected.
The overarching goal of chiropractic care in our office is to maximize the function of your nervous system. The shifts in alignment that we mentioned earlier put pressure on adjacent nerves and affect their ability to function properly. When we correct the alignment of your spine, the pressure on those nerves are removed and the nervous system is able to work effectively.
As you now understand, issues with balance are complex and may come from a number of sources. If you are currently struggling with balance, do not hesitate to call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. A consultation is just a conversation and never a commitment.
*For Informational Purposes Only