Balance (the staying upright kind)

What goes into staying upright? (Or sitting, lying, standing). Maintaining “balance” or equilibrium requires cues from all over the body.

Our “balance organ” is the vestibular system, which is found in the inner ear. This system gives constant feedback to part of the brain (the cerebellum) about head movements. It is this system that has gone awry in vertigo.

In addition to the vestibular system, our eyes, nerves, joints & muscles all help to provide feedback to the brain about our body’s position in space. The brain then sends feedback back down the line, so that our muscles can make the adjustments needed to maintain body position.

Some causes of balance problems:

⁃ ear infection

⁃ Head injury

⁃ Stroke

⁃ Eye muscle imbalance

⁃ Muscle weakness

⁃ Nerve damage (neuropathy)

⁃ Medications

⁃ Alcohol

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