Author Topic: A little balance experiment  (Read 2975 times)


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A little balance experiment
« on: June 07, 2009, 01:41:01 am »
OK all my wonky headed friends. Put on your best bobble heads and take a test with me. Please make sure you do this in a spot where if you do get dizzy you either have some help, some support to grab on to, or lots of padding to fall on.... ;D

Many of you know that I've been encouraging folks to push themselves beyond what they might think are their normal limits for vestibular therapy. My particular outlet is standup paddleboarding. Some of the recent discussions about vision and balance had me thinking about why it works so well. Then a demonstration I was giving today made me think about kinesthetics/proprioception and a light went off. I never notice a balance problem while actually surfing a wave. When i'm paddling on flat head may decide to go left while the board is going straight, especially if I look away from the horizon....but if the conditions get real head gets LESS wonky. When my total concentration is on what my legs and core are doing it focuses my vestibular system on using that sense. When I'm doing that it works...:). It's not always perfect but no question of the connection.

When I got home tonight I decided to run a little test. My head was a little off so it was good timing. I stood with my feet slightly wider than my shoulders and started rocking side to side slightly on the balls of my feet. Just concentrating on feeling the muscles in my legs and feet move and my feet touch the floor. It actually worked! While I'm doing it I can hardly feel any wonky head at all.
I tried taking it a step beyond that. Just walking around focusing on feeling myself move and touching things as I moved. The difference was surprising, it really seems to help
Bob - Official Member of the Postie/Toasty Club
6mm AN treated with Proton Beam Radiosurgery in March 2004
at Mass General Hospital, Dr's Loeffler and Chapman
Cut the little bugger out the second time around in 2009..translab at MGH with Dr's McKenna and Barker.


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Re: A little balance experiment
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 07:12:21 am »
Bob .....

This sounds similar to a couple of the vestibular therapy exercises I was given.  Now it makes sense that when I slack off with the exercises, back comes the wonky head!  My therapist has highly stressed to me that I must keep my legs and core muscles strong because that, along with vision of course, is what keeps me upright (since I have no vestibular function from either side).  I guess whether I like it or not I will need to exercise daily for the rest of my life!  ...... probably not a bad idea for other reasons, as well.   ;D

Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011


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Re: A little balance experiment
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 08:48:43 am »
I totally agree with your reasoning and conclusions!!!

One other exercise I have been doing is:  Every night before bed when it is dark...I walk down my hallway forwards, backwards, braiding (which is one cross one foot over in front then back...kinda like a dance) and sidestepping.  With this exercise I can keep my eyes open and my other senses besides my vision have to take over and learn how to adapt.  I have been doing this since JAnuary and let me tell you it is a big difference of improvement.

Now if I could only look to either side and walk straight at the same time or turn around quickly without looking like a drunk I'd be
Diagnosed 12/08...4mm Left AN in IAC...Wait and Watch for now...Next MRI scheduled for 8/09 Doctors not sure if its AN, Lipoma or Hemangioma????

Also diagnosed with Chiari I Malformation - looking into options for that