Balance and Gait Disorders River Edge, NJ

Balance & Gait Disorders

When an injury interferes with your ability to function normally during the tasks of your day-to-day life, the discomfort of that injury is compounded, leaving you with emotional distress in addition to physical stress and discomfort. Gait and balance disorders are a frequent cause of this sort of discomfort.

What Are Gait and Balance Disorders?

There are a lot of injuries that can trigger a balance or gait disorder, from foot and ankle injuries to concussions and head or neck injuries. The ability to balance and hold yourself without issue is a full-body effort, requiring the support of your inner ears and eyes, your muscles and joints, your nervous system and last but not least, your cognitive function.

Whether impacted by a heart attack or stroke, affected by surgical complications, afflicted by illness or coping with the lingering pain following an injury, finding support for your balance and gait can improve your quality of life by allowing you peace of mind as you go about your regular business.

Causes of Gait and Balance Disorders

Physical therapy for balance and gait disorders targets the problematic areas that are causing one or more bodily systems to disrupt your comfort and equilibrium. Proper gait and balance require all aspects of the body to function in harmony. By targeting weaker muscles or joints and using specialized techniques to improve muscle memory, it is possible to improve balance and restore a healthy gait.

The goal of gait training is to improve leg or foot movement to increase stability, which directly improves your ability to balance. There are a lot of factors that could influence your gait. Weakened muscles from injuries are one of the most common causes of gait disorders, but there are plenty of other neurological causes that could disrupt your gait. The goal of physical therapy is to target the cause of the dysfunction and restore strength and functionality, thereby providing increased balance and improved gait.

Because of the impact that your gait has on your ability to walk or run, your gait and ability to balance are frequently intertwined. An injury to one ankle could cause you to favor one foot, which may impact your balance even after the ankle injury is recovered. Often, the original injury has little to do with what is holding you back, but the lingering effects and the developed habit of depending on one side more than another can have a lasting impact long after the pain subsided.

How Physical Therapy Helps Balance and Gait Disorders

While it may seem overwhelming to engage in therapy to alter the way that you walk or your ability to balance yourself, this is a very common form of physical therapy that is largely successful. After a series of diagnostic, imaging, and functioning tests, your physical therapist will develop a program that is suited perfectly to your body’s needs. This will typically involve addressing issues with your strength and posture, which could be influencing your gait. Additional strategies that are often employed with balance training include making changes to footwear, often incorporating custom orthotics to address underlying balance and gait concerns, as well as stretches to improve flexibility, recommendations to improve balance during dizzy spells to prevent further injury, and targeted exercises to build strength in specific regions of the body.

By working with a physical therapist, it is possible to walk again without depending on a cane or walker. You can say goodbye to regular discomfort and feel comfortable on your own two feet again without the constant threat of losing your balance. For more information about gait training and balance therapy, contact us at River Edge, NJ center.

MEET OUR THERAPISTS

They just make work a pleasure.

Michelle Ribustello,

I came to Back to Health in 2015 from a skilled nursing facility and it's been great being able to work with my patients in their home, helping them in their own environment. It's much more rewarding to be able to see them function independently by the time you are finished with them and they are discharged. Working for Back to Health has also been great. I am a new mom so scheduling has been phenomenal. Your patients are very flexible, the office is super flexible, and they just make work a pleasure.

It feels so good to love my job each and every day!

Jodi McLean,

Back to Health gives me the opportunity to see patients in the clinic setting and in their homes. I love the connection I am able to make with my patients and their families as they welcome me into their homes. This is the most flexible, rewarding, stress-free job anyone could ever ask for as an occupational therapist. It feels so good to love my job each and every day!

Back To Health is the best PT job that I have ever had.

Patricia Verdote,

Back To Health is the best PT job that I have ever had. I am able to treat the patients the way that I want to treat, the way that I believe will be the best level of care for the patient in their own environment. I helped one patient learn how to get up off of their favorite chair in their living room – and that is not something that I have ever had the chance to do before!

You couldn't ask for anything better.

Melissa Stawinski,

I feel really lucky to be able to work for Back to Health Physical Therapy. It's allowed me to really tap into why I became an OT in the first place. Working in people's homes, in their environment, identifying what's meaningful to them, and helping them achieve their goals; you couldn't ask for anything better.

It is such a fun time and I look forward to working with you!

Jill Chroback,

The reason I love working for Back to Health is not only for working with such a wonderful staff, we have some great therapists and administrators working here, but also working with patients in their own environment so we are able to do a lot in actual situations and we have seen some great progress. It is such a fun time and I look forward to working with you!

This has been the best, professional, ethical group I have ever worked with.

Diane Hennion,

I have been working for Back to Health for three years now and out of my whole career, this has been the best, professional, ethical group I have ever worked with. They are friendly, warm and very intent on providing the best outcome and care for their individual clients.

I honestly look forward to "going to work" with Back to Health.

Stephanie Spada,

I love working at Back to Health as it allows me the flexibility to be both a hands-on involved mom to an amazing six-year-old little boy as well as a working professional. I am able to provide quality one-on-one quality care to my patient's in the comfort of their own home. I honestly look forward to "going to work" with Back to Health. They are a caring, dedicated group of special people who truly want the best for their patients!!

The flexibility is priceless to me.

Jill Friedbauer,

It was very difficult for me to find a PT position where I could send my kids off to school in the morning and to also be home to greet them when they come home in the afternoon. That flexibility is priceless to me. My patients have made a tremendous level of progress – even more than I have seen in clinical environments – which is really rewarding. I love working with Back To Health so much that I have referred clinicians that I have worked with in the past to join their team!

The most emotional and financially rewarding position that I have ever had.

Yvette Jain-Nafpliotis,

I have been working with Back To Health since 2006 and it has been the most emotional and financially rewarding position that I have ever had. The patients are so grateful for the services and I truly can see their progress in a very direct way.