Feeling Off Balance? It Could Be Peripheral Neuropathy

Feeling Off Balance? It Could Be Peripheral Neuropathy

September 21-26 marks balance awareness week, and if you notice that you’re feeling off-balance, it may not be your imagination. Balance problems are common and can lead to falls and serious injuries.

The team at Momentum Physical Therapy specializes in changing and enhancing the body through movement. If you have a balance disorder, physical therapy can help you overcome balance issues so that you are less likely to fall and injure yourself.

Zeroing in on balance issues

Balance problems can cause dizziness or the sensation that the room is spinning. You may feel wobbly or unsteady on your feet if you have balance issues.

Several physiological systems, including the brain, nerves, muscles, bones, joints, eyes, inner ear, and blood vessels, work together to maintain proper balance. Getting to the root of your balance issues involves checking these systems to see if they function correctly. 

Don’t put off seeking evaluation

Many people disregard balance problems as a natural consequence of aging. While this is true to some extent, it is crucial to notify your health care team of any changes in your balance. Take note of when you first noticed problems with your balance. Your provider will want to know if the changes were sudden or gradual and how you initially noticed the issue. 

The link between peripheral neuropathy and balance

Peripheral neuropathy is a common cause of balance issues. It occurs when the peripheral nerous system is damaged. The peripheral nerves transmit and receive messages to and from the central nervous system. High blood sugar levels can damage the peripheral nervous system, causing problems with sensation and balance.

There are about 100 different forms of neuropathies, each with distinct symptoms. However, diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, which is a progressive condition. Peripheral neuropathy can cause you to feel clumsy and off balance.

Muscle weakness is also common in peripheral neuropathy and can also impact your gait and balance. 

Physical therapy for balance issues

If you have balance issues, the primary goal of treatment is to prevent you from falling. In most situations, conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy, are the first line of treatment.

Physical therapists are movement specialists. Our team can assist you in strengthening your balance. Your physical therapist will evaluate your balance and determine whether some movements are more difficult for you than others. Your therapist will then collaborate with you to establish a physical therapy regimen to improving your balance. The goal is to enhance function as much as possible.

Our physical therapists can prescribe and administer a wide range of treatments, including:

Our team can also help to retrain the visual tracking in the inner ear. 

Signs that you may have a balance disorder

The following are signs to look out for: 

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s best to discuss them with a health care provider.

The physical therapists at Momentum Physical Therapy can also help improve your strength and coordination to reduce your risk of falling and getting hurt during daily activities.

Some individuals with balance issues will need the assistance of our vestibular rehabilitation specialists. In each instance, we will conduct a personalized evaluation of your balance issues and build an individualized treatment plan. To learn more and to schedule a visit, call our Saetelle, Los Angeles, California office or request an appointment online today.

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