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Sense of Balance

Balance Retraining

To determine if balance function can be improved with training, in the 1990s research labs began to design and test different balance training programs. High-resistance muscle strength training studies have found that age-related declines in muscle strength are partially reversible, especially in frail older adults, such as nursing home residents. Dynamic balance training involving Tai Chi (an ancient Chinese discipline of meditative movements) also has been shown to reduce the risk of falls in healthy older adults. Studies focusing on sensory retraining, in which older adults practiced standing under changing sensory conditions (e.g., standing on foam, eyes open versus closed, head tilted) showed significant reductions in sway over ten days of training. Multidimensional exercise programs, including combinations of lower extremity strength and flexibility exercises, static and dynamic balance exercises, and participation in an aerobic activity (usually walking) have also improved balance and mobility function and reduced the likelihood of falls among older adults with a history of falling.



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Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Sense of Balance - Musculoskeletal System, Neuromuscular Systems, Sensory Systems, Higher-level Adaptive And Cognitive Systems, Balance Retraining