Improved Balance

Matt2584 wrote a post "Walking Stick" that got a lot of comments from people with poor balance. I know that a BI can cause balance problems that may not respond to the things that helped me (someone without a BI) but I thought I would share them just in case. Five years ago I noticed that at a relatively young age, my balance was deteriorating. I was already too likely to end upon the ground by twisting my weak ankles; I really did not need to add balance problems to the mix. Then sciatica and back pain emerged and became my bigger problem. Yoga did not help. Chiropracty did not help. Cortisone shots did not help. I did physical therapy. Now, 3 years later I am pain free and have much better balance.

I my case, it turned out that my hips had gotten misaligned over the years of non-stop sitting at desks, airplanes and meeting rooms. Daily gentle exercises for hip alignment from my PT and the first half of this restorative yoga video (

made the difference. It was not immediate. It took about a year, but as I mentioned, the pain is gone. The balance issues seem to have come from the misalignment (the chiropractor found that i was carrying 1.5 stone more of my weight over one foot vs the other.) Interestingly, I also regained a lot of lost flexibility that had apparently also been blocked by the bad alignment.

As I noted above, this will not cure balance issues stemming from BI, but if you have been sedentary like me, this gentle exercise approach may address part of your balance problem. In any case, the increased flexibility feels great! I hope this helps someone.

13 Replies

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  • Sorry -- the url I supplied showed up as a dead end video when I pressed Submit. Here is the url in text form :

  • Thanks very much TalaV for taking the time to post this. Everything welcome.

    I will definitely give it a try.

    After my last bad falls my neurologist wrote to my GP saying that I needed physio.... who sent me to join a group of people for " chair based exercise"...

    I needed not to be in a chair ...

    This is more the sort of thing i need. Appreciated xxx:)

  • Indeed I'm lucky that I've always been active, as you say sedentary does bad thing, to balance. And to be frank all sorts of things.

    Funnily enough we had a Yoga session at last months Headway group.

  • Which Headway group you attend? I haev been once and there was a xmas party - never came back

  • It's South West London, they meet at different locations and the mini groups have their own flavour I guess some are quieter others are more chatty etc,

  • Thank you TaIaV for the link - surprises me that this isn't suggested more often. TiredNan is there a good reason why they chose chair-based? Surely getting you to a place where you can safely move about without the falls is where you're aiming for? Is is that people get worried and too safety-conscious if the words head injury are used?

  • I had very good Nero physo who was far from risk adverse! It was very good but at time concerning, to trust some one to take you to the point of balance failure. I do get that, that isn't always so.

  • Hi 0101.. basically there was very little in the way of physio on the NHS where I was living...unless you have had stroke or hip replacements... I saw a very young community physio arranged by GP who did " geriatric folks" /

    She offered me a zimmer first of all and kept saying " awwww how awful" ....which was pretty annoying tbh..but she gave me some balance exercises on a sheet and referred me to this group of folks in their 80s upwards . They met at a local church. their ex NHS physio/trainer had been made redundant along with some colleagues and had set up their own sessions which were a fiver a go.

    Long story but it was not for me nice though they were. As I was the most mobile I was asked to help make the rest a cup of tea at the end of the session.... and then help wash up. ... not why I was there...I know I sound a miserable old so and so but not my thing..

    I think that there is a lot of truth in what you say about "head injury" and being a bit too safety conscious.

    I've moved now and things here seem more promising... There are some local walking groups round here who do light rambles and if I could get to a stage of being less wonky i think that would be a bit more useful... after all I tend to ramble a lot ... according to the family anyway lol1

    Hope all is good as can be with you x

  • Ah that's a bit of a relief to be honest as I've been thinking surely this isn't standard? But I've had similar - in my 30s and yet I'm with the 'older' people and 'disability' teams which means I've been getting really frustrated but people just blame 'funding' or whatever and thinking I'm happy to just sit about not doing much. I can't believe how many people are written off.

    You definitely don't sound miserable! I ended up volunteering for an older people's place and doing quite hard work in their kitchen. Only when one complained I was swanning in late did I reveal I had had a brain injury, had come earlier that day to prep her lunch, went to a hospital appointment, then was coming in again just before lunch to serve it to her.

    Glad you moved and things sound so positive. I love a light ramble ;-)

  • Tired Nan, do you not use a walking stick ? It is my lifesaver ! Angela x

  • Yes its always " funding" which in part is true.

    Hey a bit of a cheek volunteering and being complained about for being late.

    I'm terrified of ending up an old fogey.. although I'm sixty these folks were still old enough to be my mum. the woman across the road from me here lives alone and is 85 and has just travelled to Australia and back on her own... my kind of gal!

    If you are thirty you defo need to be around folks around your own age ... its nice to talk about stuff you relate too not just b.i all the time.

    Some of these groups are so cliquey too... hard work some of them..

  • Don't think you could be an old fogey - it's the attitude that counts. See you in Melbourne :-)

    I've found myself assumed to be like people I wouldn't normally have much in common with. Sometimes I've met real gems and I'm trying to be enlightened about feeling what others face every day and from birth. Something quasi serious on the radio today said brain scans and lots of serious science has found that those who fought (as in a fight or flight response) had better outcomes. Funny what patience it can take to do many things when you're trying not to fall over or persuade things to work as they should and only do the yelling in your own head!! Lack of cliquishness is what I like about here...

  • Hi Everyone,

    Glad to hear this seems useful A few additional notes.

    Don't be discouraged when you start. When I began i had very very limited range of motion. Just doing what I could every day things got better. I could also feel the difference in the pain each day i did it. At first I could only do the first part -- doing the forward bending things made my pain worse.

    I did add the first part of this other restorative yoga video

    which helped loosen my shoulders and neck. Just remember to sit on a folded blanket if you have a hard time sitting up straight when sitting on the floor. As the muscles loosen up, you breathe better and that helps EVERYTHING.

    Have a great day!

    Taia

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