Healthy Living

Balance vs Stability

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Many people and therapists use these terms interchangeably, but in all actuality, they are quite different. Balance is the ability to maintain an equal distribution of weight or equilibrium relative to gravity. Stability is your body’s ability to return to a desired position or movement following a disturbance or change in force. Let’s clarify that a little more. Stability is dependent on your mechanoreceptors, proprioceptors and free nerve endings in the muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, skin and fascia to detect force, and changes in force throughout any given range of motion. Once your nervous system senses those forces, your brain needs to decide what to do and how to respond accordingly. The quicker the body can detect those forces and then efficiently and effectively respond to correct itself, the better stability you will appreciate. The force can be body weight, resistance bands, dumbbells, bags of groceries, pushing a broom, or even holding a child in your arms. Balance, however, is dependent on the stability of the body when gravity is the major force acting on it. They both depend on the ability of the sensory nerves in the joints and surrounding soft tissues to perceive forces or changes in force and then quickly respond. If joint motion is restricted or the surrounding soft tissues are being strained or have been injured, the nervous system cannot adequately detect these changes, the muscular response is delayed, and the body cannot maintain control of the movement, likely causing you to wobble or fall, or feel additional strain.

 

If you or someone you know is having issues with stability or balance, call or text our office and schedule an assessment today!