Here are the differences between generalized balance training and individualized treatment.
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What’s the difference between the two: generalized balance training versus very individualized solutions and individualized treatment?
So, our balance system is quite complex, and it’s something that we take for granted. It’s our ability to be able to do multiple things at one time while moving our head, while walking a straight line, and to be able to have a conversation and to be able to avoid dangers around us such as cars, potholes, and curbs, and everything else. And, without having to even think about what’s around us.
That ability is something that we take for granted. It’s not quite innate; from the standpoint that we have to develop it in childhood. This often comes in the form of play. When we are spinning around and we roll down hills with friends and we go to amusement park rides and we ask our parents to spin us around, we are developing our balance system overall – very specifically, our vestibular system and how our vestibular system basically coordinates with the rest of our body.
So that when we become – you know, functional adults, we’re able to do these things just automatically. We’re able to just walk a straight line and move our head, look for danger, and be able to do multiple things at one time, have a conversation, think about something else, all without having to worry about our balance.
And this should happen just kind of automatically. And it’s something that we often take for granted as adults at this point. But what happens when a wrench gets thrown into that system or what happens when that system becomes weak? And we often find out that that can happen. It can happen with younger individuals; it can happen with older individuals.
Oftentimes, when we see younger individuals, they’ll often come to us with a very specific vestibular disorder or very specific balance or neurological disorder or if they didn’t develop – you know, in childhood for some reason. Whereas with older individuals, it might be a very specific diagnosis or neurological disorder or a vestibular disorder. But, we’ll tend to see a lot more also just kind of weakness of the vestibular system, kind of general decline of the vestibular system due to mostly lack of use.
Yes, there’re some physiological anatomical changes that occur as people get older, but a lot of the decline is very much due to the fact that people don’t use their balance system as much as they get older. They are farther away from childhood, when in the form of play, they were spinning around and very much actively stimulating their balance system. And, they could do quite a bit of things without getting dizzy or enjoying the dizziness as well.
So, what someone needs when they have a balance problem is specific, individualized treatment. Why? The balance system is very complex. It’s kind of a whole group of systems.
So, you have your vestibular system, your main central balance system. It’s a neurological system; it’s not an inner ear system, although one of the main kind of organs for the vestibular system is in the deep inner ear. But that is just one part of it. The rest of the vestibular system is basically throughout the central nervous system. It goes to the brainstem, the cerebellum, and throughout parts of the cortex, and then all the way down the spinal cord and back up.