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Watch Your Step

Posted 2/28/2015 by UHBlog

If you feel dizzy, unsteady or have problems with balance talk to us. We can help.

When you feel unsure on your feet, it can have a negative impact on your life. Without your balance, you can't participate in sports, put on your shoes or get out of a chair. Older people are especially worried about losing their balance and suffering a fall-related injury, which might make it impossible for them to live independently.

Balance problems aren't just an older person's ailment either, says physical therapist and neurovestibular specialist Amy McMillin, MSPT, at University Hospitals Warrensville Outpatient and Neuro Rehab Center.

"Dizziness with aging is not normal," she says.

Balance issues can stem from concussion due to a work or sports injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, equilibrium issues because of aging, and inner ear conditions like vertigo.

"Some people describe it as a problem that originates in their head, while others think the problem has to do with their feet or legs," McMillin says. "We work with people who have gait and balance disorders. The patients we treat may have complaints that they feel funny in the head, have double vision, feel off balance, lightheaded and/or unsteady on their feet."

University Hospitals Rehabilitation Services offers physical therapy, evaluation and education at two locations to treat vestibular problems. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements.

Periodically, UH Rehab Services also offers educational seminars about balance disorders. On March 25, 2015, the UH Warrensville Outpatient and Neuro Rehab Center will host, "Watch Your Step!," a free event from 5 – 6:30 p.m. To register, call 440-735-4726.

"We'll go over different types of balance systems and how they interact with one another," McMillin says. "We'll discuss ways to prevent imbalance because if you don't use it, you lose it. We'll also talk about ways to get them moving again."

The event will also include a demonstration of the facility's state-of-the-art NeuroCom® SMART Balance Master system, which aids in identifying deficiencies in a patient's natural balance systems.

Amy McMillin, MSPT, is a physical therapist and neurovestibular specialist at University Hospitals Warrensville Outpatient and Neuro Rehab Center. You can request an appointment with McMillin or any University Hospitals health care provider online.

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