Vestibular problems, which include dizziness, are frustrating. You never know when an episode will occur and ways to prevent vertigo are limited. One way to strengthen your balance system, however, is to use a vestibular balance board. The balance board improves your ankle-and-hip response to the swayed walk that often accompanies vestibular issues. Stronger ankles and hips reduce your risk of falling from the dizziness. Also, learning to balance on a wobble board improves your ability to sense where your body is in relation to the ground. For example, if you are leaning to one side, your body is able to identify this and correct your posture accordingly.
Balance Board Movements
Place the balance board on the floor in an area free of clutter and away from large objects such as your couch or dining table.
Step onto the board with both feet in the center of the board. Position your feet so they are parallel to each other and your toes face forward.
Stand up tall and tighten your stomach by pulling your navel in toward your spine. Keep this good posture as you lean forward from the hips. Feel the board tilt down to the front.
Press down with your heels and return to an upright position and then keep pressing backward as the board tilts down behind you.
Return yourself and the board to an upright balanced position.
Slowly tilt the board to the left and then back to the center. Slowly tilt the board to the right and then back to the center.
Repeat the forward, backward and side-to-side tilts one or two times. Gradually increase the number of sets you perform as your balance improves.
- Have someone assist you into the standing position on the board if you are experiencing a great challenge. Stand near a wall or a stationary object to grab onto if you think you are going to fall while doing the exercises on the board.
- Speak with your doctor before you use a balance board. Stop the exercise immediately if you have a sudden change in hearing, experience pressure or ringing in your ears or have fluid discharge from the ears. Also, avoid the balance board if you experience any neck or back pain.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.