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If you’ve noticed your balance is not so good and you’re afraid you’re going to fall, you are certainly not alone—and most people notice a decline in their balance and coordination as they age.

However, you don’t have to just accept it as part of aging. If the right person works with you, you can get your balance and coordination back.

So why does this loss of balance and coordination happen to everyone to some degree as they age? Actually, there are several reasons why this occurs.

Most people as they age become less active, meaning that they sit more and do less of the dynamic activities their muscles and joints were used to when they were younger. So, your muscles, joints, brain, nerves and the receptors in your muscles and joints “forget” how to work together in a coordinated fashion when they are not used in that way for a period of time.

Another issue that occurs as you reduce your activity level when you age is that your muscles get weak and tight, so you lose some of the range of motion in which your body and its “parts” can move. So this loss of strength, flexibility and “muscle memory” all contribute to the worsening of your balance and coordination.

In addition, other things that can cause your balance and coordination to deteriorate are things such as vertigo, dizziness, certain medications, stroke, heart problems, concussion, flat feet, high arches, foot and or toe deformities, and more.

The good news is you don’t have to accept the fact that you are going to fall and suffer a head injury, or break your hip or shoulder because your balance and coordination are declining. Your balance and coordination, range of motion and strength can all be drastically improved no matter what your age is.

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The key to preventing falls and keeping good balance/coordination is to stay active and mobile by keeping your joints and muscles flexible and strong.

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The physical therapists at Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy are experts in developing programs that are customized to each person to address the specific issues that a person is having that is causing the loss of balance, coordination, etc. We address the specific areas of tightness and weakness, as well as develop individualized balance and coordination exercises to help you get back to the specific activities that you want, whether it be walking without falling, hiking, golfing, tennis, walking on uneven terrain as you garden, etc.

If you would like to get back to living your life the way you did before you started worrying about your balance and coordination or falling, then try one of the following:

Call 717-245-0400 to schedule a one-on-one free screen with one of our balance experts so that they can listen to the issues you are having and tell you how they can best help you

Call to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our balance experts if you prefer to chat on the phone versus face to face, so we can listen to the issues you are having and tell you the next best step.

Email me at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com if you would rather connect that way first to ask me some questions and chat with me about your balance issues so I can make recommendations about what to do next.

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Steve Miller is the owner of Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy and can be reached by email at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com. His column will appear bi-monthly in the Thrive section of the Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com.

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