Should you be doing vestibular exercises? Read on to find out!
Stand & balance on 1 leg. Try to hold that for 10 seconds. Are you steady?
If no, that means you have work to do! Practice your single leg balance a few times a day. If it doesn’t improve after a few days, I recommend seeing a physical therapist to figure out what your problem is.
If you were able to stand steady for 10 seconds, challenge yourself by closing your eyes.
Balancing with your eyes closed should be harder, but you should be steady for 10 seconds.
If you’re still steady with your eyes closed, you can stop reading. Nice work!
If you are unsteady standing on 1 leg with your eyes closed, read on!
Your balance system is composed of your vision, your musculoskeletal system (muscle & joints), & your vestibular system (inner ear). When you take away your vision, you’re taking away 1 of the 3 components of your balance system.
If you were unable to balance on 1 leg with your eyes closed, you want to figure out if your problem is due to your musculoskeletal or vestibular system.
Let’s clear your vestibular system next. You can check your vestibular system by doing 3 simple tests: convergence, saccades & gaze stabilization.
Watch the following videos & try those tests.
How did you do?
If any of those tests brought on symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea or fogginess, that means you would benefit from some vestibular rehab.
Those tests can double as exercises. You can correct vestibular problems through habituation. Habituation is graded exposure therapy. You perform the exercise to the point of bringing on your symptoms without exacerbating them. You can go at this yourself, or see a professional. I recommend seeing a Physical Therapist that specializes in the Vestibular System.
If you were able to complete those 3 vestibular exercises without any issues, your problem is due to your musculoskeletal system. You would benefit from seeing a Physical Therapist that specializes in Orthopedics &/or Sports!
Please contact me with any questions!
Dr Jay Hartnett
Hartnett Physical Therapy
800 Woodlawn Ave. Suite B
Wilmington, Delaware 19805