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Rickard Rehabilitation Services

Rickard Rehabilitation Services, Inc.  

Balance & Coordination

Balance is the ability to maintain your center of gravity over a base of support. In order to maintain balance one must have adequate control of not only the legs and arms but also the trunk and head. Although balance is usually referred to as maintaining an upright position while sitting or standing, balance is needed to complete activities that require bending, reaching or lifting one foot. Such activities cause a shift in body weight or center of gravity. A child may try to widen his base of support to maintain his balance, for example stand with feet apart or sit with legs apart. As a student, one’s balance is constantly challenged with crowded hallways, maneuvering around and between desks in the classroom and lunchroom, and participating in activities with one’s peers.

Coordination is the ability to perform smooth, fluid, accurate and controlled movements. Coordinated movements are characterized by appropriate speed, distance, direction, rhythm and muscle tension. Coordinated movements are purposeful movements, not jerky movements, which allow successful transition from one posture or position to another within a reasonable amount of time. Coordination also deals with the ability to visualize an object and react appropriately, such as when attempting to catch a ball or write an assignment (eye-hand coordination). This ability to react appropriately and in a timely manner also enables a student to respond safely to changes in the environment, such as a book falling from a shelf.

In order to successfully and safely move through the environment without bumping into people or objects, or fall down following a weight displacement, one must have adequate balance and coordination. Movement that is smooth and efficient helps conserve energy for endurance. Examples of higher-level balance and coordination activities are jumping rope, hopscotch, and roller skating.

The physical therapist uses a variety of sensory motor techniques that enhance balance, equilibrium, and coordination to improve functional activities.

Rickard Rehabilitation Services, Inc.

Rickard Rehabilitation Services, Inc.
168 Franklin Turnpike, Waldwick, NJ 07463
201-670-0864 - Fax:201-445-0256 -

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