Balance is taken for granted until it is lost. Balance issues are very common among both “healthy” and “unhealthy” individuals. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they have balance problems until they actually fall. Not knowing you have a balance issue means being unable to take preventative action to prevent falls and associated injuries. Here at GCNC each new patient completes a balance screening. Many individuals are surprised when they find that they scored far lower than normal on stability ratings for their age group, placing them at high risk for falls.
Balance issues can create a variety of secondary issues such as back pain, hip pain, leg pain, plantar fasciitis, and many more. If those secondary issues are treated without uncovering the underlying balance compromise it will be difficult to achieve and maintain improvement. Improved balance generally leads to increased athletic performance, decreased fatigue, and decreased rate of recurrent injury. Using the data gained during the test, along with the information gleaned during the history and physical exam, our doctors are able to design a specific treatment plan targeted at re-calibrating systems that control balance.
Identifying persons with abnormal balance can be invaluable in the early detection of other serious medical conditions. The early warning signs of balance disorders can readily be seen on a CAPS machine (Comprehensive Assessment Postural Systems). The CAPS machine consists of an extremely sensitive force platform with specially designed software which is able to measure the otherwise imperceptible movements a person is always making when they are standing; even though they appear to be still.
The CAPS can detect balance in 25 seconds and instantly compares that person’s results to normative data. A report is generated that quantifies the person’s balance score indicating brain harmony or instability. The CAPS analyzes the data and formulates all statistics that can be derived including overall stability, risk of fall, sway directions and frequencies, fatigue, etc. It quickly becomes apparent that this information can be used in the determination of a treatment plan as well as to monitor the results of treatment of its effectiveness.
“When I came to Dr. Ellis I was having balance and mobility problems due to Parkinson’s. Now I can go out in public confidently and am less dependent on others.”
-J.D. Atlanta, GA
“There is no doubt about it – fall prevention is a necessary part of any wellness program for people of all ages. That’s why Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center is taking a proactive approach to fall prevention and rehabilitation. As a community service project we intend to screen as many people as possible for free. Balance screening saves countless dollars, emotional and physical pain, and most importantly it saves lives.”