Our sense of balance is amazingly complex and adaptable. Our ability to stay balanced relies on several systems, including information from our vestibular/inner ear system, eyes, and joints and muscles in our spine and lower body. This information is processed by our nervous system, which then sends messages back to our joints and muscles. It requires muscle strength and coordination to react appropriately and keep us balanced.
These different systems can be affected by trauma, falls, sprain/strain injuries, surgery, concussion, neurological events, and even disuse. Specific exercises to target the affected area may beneficial. Our body can also learn how to adapt and compensate for damage to an area, therefore exercises to improve the functioning of the non-affected areas may be appropriate.
Activities that challenge balance, such as yoga, Tai Chi, and dance, can encourage changes and adaptations in balance reactions.