Poor physical balance can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose poor physical balance, we could:
|Muscular Dystrophy||1%||Ruled out|
|Vitamin B12 Need||1%||Ruled out|
How good is your balance? Stand on a hard surface with feet together. Close your eyes and lift your dominant foot about six inches (15cm). How long can you stand on your other foot without falling or opening your eyes? Try to do this 3 times and average.
Possible responses:→ I can't do this test / I am injured / don't know
→ Under 4 seconds (poor balance)
→ 4-9 seconds
→ 10-25 seconds
→ Over 25 seconds (very good balance)
Reuters, March 17, 2008: How well people get around and keep their balance in old age is linked to the severity of changes in their brains, research suggests. Age-related white matter brain changes are associated with gait and balance disturbances.
Dr. Hansjoerg Baezner, from University of Heidelberg in Mannheim, Germany, and colleagues studied the impact of age-related white matter changes on functional decline in 639 men and women between the ages of 65 and 84 who underwent brain scans as well as walking and balance tests. Of the group, 284 had mild age-related white matter changes, 197 moderate changes, and 158 severe changes.
They found that people with severe white matter changes were twice as likely to score poorly on tests of walking and balance as those with mild white matter changes. They further found that people with severe changes were twice as likely as the mild group to have a history of falls. The moderate group was one-and-a-half times as likely as the mild group to have a history of falls.