Spinal Hygiene

Balance Exercises For Stability and Performance: EP Chiropractic

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Body balance is essential for walking, tying shoelaces, picking up objects, etc. Balance is an acquired skill that the body develops in response to different activities and surroundings. Everyone can benefit from improving and maintaining their balance muscles regardless of age. Balance exercises condition and strengthen the core muscles. Balance training helps improve posture and stability; athletes find it provides increased agility and added power; seniors utilize it to prevent injuries and maintain mobility, and fitness enthusiasts use it to improve workouts. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic provide whole-body realignment, rehabilitation, postural and balance training, and nutritional advice.

Balance Exercises

Being able to move around efficiently requires healthy postural alignment and balance. The systems responsible for balance can be affected by the following:

  • Gradual changes brought on by aging.
  • Back problems.
  • Foot problems.
  • Injury.
  • Side effects from medications.
  • Arthritis.
  • Stroke.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis.

However, it was found that all responded well to exercises designed to improve balance.

Definition

Balance is the ability to control the body in space and distribute weight evenly to maintain uprightness. There are two types.

Dynamic Balance

  • The ability to remain stable while performing movements or actions that require displacing or moving the body.
  • Individuals use this type of balance each time the body takes a step in any direction.
  • Dynamic balance is required when the body is in motion, like walking.
  • A healthy dynamic balance is essential for the body’s ability to react to sudden changes.

Static Balance

  • The ability to maintain a stationary position during movements like bending, twisting, reaching, and swaying around the axis of the body.
  • Static balance is a non-locomotor skill.

Both types are essential and can be improved with targeted exercises.

Benefits

Everyone can benefit from balance exercises and can help at different stages of life and fitness levels.

General Public

Balance training:

  • Teaches the body to use the core for stabilization.
  • Creates muscular balance.
  • Improves neuromuscular coordination and communication between the brain and muscles.

Individuals can start incorporating balance exercises into everyday routines. A few ways to do this include:

  • When picking up an object, reach over to pick them up on one leg, with the other lifting straight into the air behind to engage the abs.
  • Sit on a stability ball at work, school, or when watching TV.
  • Stand on one foot while engaged in static balance activities like washing dishes, brushing teeth, etc., and alternate the feet.

Athletes

  • Proprioceptive training is used with athletes for rehabilitation and prevention of injuries. Proprioception is the sense of body position.
  • Practicing balance exercises increases the sense of control and awareness of the muscles and joints and how they function when in motion.
  • Balance training increases power because the individual learns to use their center of gravity more efficiently.
  • A stronger and more active core helps to increase jump height, throwing, swinging, shifting, and running.

Seniors

  • Seniors can use balance exercise programs to improve stability for falling prevention and injuries.

Exercises

Below are basic instructions for the following balance exercises:

Tree Pose

Tree pose can be done on the floor, a mat, or Bosu. It strengthens the ankles, improves balance, and engages the core.

  • Stand with feet together, spine tall and straight, and arms outstretched.
  • If using a BOSU, use either the ball or the flat side.
  • Gradually lift the left foot to the side of the calf and balance on the right foot.
  • Gradually lift arms overhead to make the branches.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch to the other leg.

Single Leg Deadlift

This exercise strengthens the hamstrings and glutes, works on balance, and activates the abdominal wall. It can be done with or without weights like dumbells.

  • Stand on the floor with feet together.
  • Place most of the weight onto the right foot.
  • Stare at a focal point in front and on the floor
  • Slowly lower the torso to the ground while lifting the left leg behind.
  • Keep the spine neutral and reach the hands toward the floor.
  • Stop when the back is parallel to the floor.
  • Don’t tighten or stiffen the right knee but keep it moveable.
  • Squeeze the hamstrings, glutes, and abs while slowly returning to an upright position.
  • Switch sides.
  • Try for eight on each side.

Deadbug

This is a highly recommended core exercise that challenges the transverse abdominis.

  • Lie on your back and extend your arms and legs toward the ceiling.
  • Pull the abdominals in toward the midline.
  • Lower the right leg and extend the left arm back.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
  • Keep switching sides until the set is complete.

The Chiropractic Approach


References

Bruijn, Sjoerd M, and Jaap H van Dieën. “Control of human gait stability through foot placement.” Journal of the Royal Society, Interface vol. 15,143 (2018): 20170816. doi:10.1098/rsif.2017.0816

Dunsky, Ayelet, et al. “Balance Performance Is Task Specific in Older Adults.” BioMed research international vol. 2017 (2017): 6987017. doi:10.1155/2017/6987017

Feldman, Anatol G. “The Relationship Between Postural and Movement Stability.” Advances in experimental medicine and biology vol. 957 (2016): 105-120. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47313-0_6

Hlaing, Su Su et al. “Effects of core stabilization exercise and strengthening exercise on proprioception, balance, muscle thickness and pain-related outcomes in patients with subacute nonspecific low back pain: a randomized controlled trial.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 22,1 998. 30 Nov. 2021, doi:10.1186/s12891-021-04858-6

Kim, Beomryong, and Jongeun Yim. “Core Stability and Hip Exercises Improve Physical Function and Activity in Patients with Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” The Tohoku Journal of experimental medicine vol. 251,3 (2020): 193-206. doi:10.1620/tjem.251.193

Prado, Erick Tadeu et al. “Hatha yoga on body balance.” International Journal of Yoga vol. 7,2 (2014): 133-7. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.133893

Thomas, Ewan, et al. “Physical activity programs for balance and fall prevention in elderly: A systematic review.” Medicine vol. 98,27 (2019): e16218. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000016218

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Balance Exercises For Stability and Performance: EP Chiropractic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

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