Balance is a Head-to-Toe Activity

"I like to explain to patients that balance is primarily comprised of 3 systems – your eyes, ears and joints,” says Tom Pietrowski, PT of Compass Physical Therapy in Bend. “If any one of these systems is not functioning well we feel off or out of balance.”

Your eyes help vestibular-trained therapists find the source of your dizziness.

Your eyes help vestibular-trained therapists find the source of your dizziness.

As well as providing sight, your eyes work in conjunction with your ears to keep your head and body level and balanced with the world. Your inner ears act as gyroscopes translating any movement of your head in space to your eyes to keep your environment stable.Your joints contain proprioceptors that give feedback from the ground to your spinal cord, helping you make infinite minute adjustments throughout your body to maintain your balance. As unlikely as it may sound, if the joints in your big toe are not functioning well, it can affect your balance.

The physical therapists at Compass Physical Therapy help you assess, challenge and strengthen all three of these systems. They are also specially trained to identify and treat balance difficulties caused by vestibular issues including vertigo, BBPV and neuronitis. These conditions result in imbalance and dizziness and often require a series of tests to identify the specific cause of your symptoms and the correct intervention. Sometimes a single treatment is all that’s needed to resolve your symptoms.

Balance Assessments for All Ages


Balance issues aren’t limited to people over 65. A personalized Physical Therapy program can help:

  • Children with impaired movement patterns such as toe-walking and joint hypermobility.
  • Athletes of all ages—Balance issues can contribute to a poor swing, overuse injuries in running, leg injuries in contact and running sports, and more. 
  • People who work on their feet a lot and develop over-use and ankle, knee and hip problems.
  • Someone who recently had a respiratory infection and has a lingering sense of "dizziness" or feeling off center.

Much of the physical pain and dysfunction many people live with because “that’s just who I am” can often be improved or eliminated through strength and balance training. Curious if PT can help you? Ask our physical therapists today.