McLaren Bay Region Center of Excellence for Balance and Dizziness Fills Much-Needed Therapeutic Gap
One-third of people older than 65 will experience a fall this year. Many of these falls will result in a severe injury. In Bay County alone, this accounts for more than 4,000 falls each year. McLaren Bay Region's new Center of Excellence for Balance and Dizziness was developed to meet the growing need to provide a comprehensive evaluation of balance, dizziness, and gait disorders.
During the past three years, clinical staff at the center has undergone specialized training in the evaluation and treatment of complex balance disorders. "The new program will provide area physicians with an effective, evidence-based treatment option for patients with these conditions," explains Margaret Arnold, P.T., the clinic's coordinator.
Teaming up with NeuroCom®, a medical manufacturing company, the Center boasts state-of-the-art equipment and programming to help solve the common but complicated problem of balance and dizziness.
"We are excited about this because it's more than just inner-ear (vestibular) rehabilitation," says Arnold. "It is a comprehensive balance program that pinpoints which of the balance systems-or combination of systems-is not functioning normally, such as musculoskeletal, inner ear, or vision."
Precise Diagnosis and Treatment
Balance and dizziness problems occur most frequently in older adults, but can afflict anyone. They are caused by specific health conditions, medications, inner-ear or neurological problems, and can be physically and psychologically debilitating. The most important first step in providing relief is to accurately identify the cause.
The first of its kind in the region, the FDAapproved NeuroCom Smart Balance Master uses innovative force-plate technology and advanced computer software to provide a detailed evaluation of a patient's condition. This technology also allows the physical therapist to pinpoint care through visual feedback using a computer.
Vestibular problems can cause lightheadedness, motion sickness, hearing changes, nausea, falling, and other problems. Balance is fundamental to our functioning.
A combination of systems-inner ear, eyes, muscles and joints-works together to keep us upright. It can be difficult to determine which area to treat-but the Smart Balance Master facilitates accurate identification of the problem. "This is the gold standard of care for vestibular disorders," explains Arnold. "It allows us to truly target our treatment-and we are excited by the success of our program."
Are balance problems affecting your, or a loved one's, quality of life? Schedule an appointment today with the Center of Excellence for Balance and Dizziness. Call 989-667-3646, or visit McLaren Bay Region's Rehabilitaton and Sports Medicine.