There are many ways to train your balance, but to truly focus on your vestibular system you need two big factors. The first factor is decreased or eliminated vision, and the second is an uneven surface. Your vestibular system processes your spatial orientation and balance constantly; it works with your proprioception and vision to keep you upright. If you have tested your balance and you have difficulty depending on your vestibular system, it’s time to do some vestibular balance training.
To do this, you’re going to need a balance pad. There are many options to choose from when you’re searching for the perfect surface to do balance training. The most important factor is that you are standing on an unstable surface.
Personally, my favorite balance pad is the Airex balance pad. It’s one of those staples in any good PT clinic and it’s a consistently good product. It has just enough stability that it doesn’t break with overuse, and unstable enough that you won’t be able to feel the floor when you use it. Not being able to feel the floor when practicing balance training is incredibly important.In my opinion, the Airex a fantastic option, however it is pricier than other balance pad options that are pretty comparable.
This balance pad, the Yes4All has different sizes and colors to choose from, and I have used it in my practice many times. This balance pad has a little less give to it, it feels a little more like the floor. For those who are looking for more give and a greater challenge that you would find in the clinic, the Airex is right for you! However, if you have a much harder time balancing, or you’re worried your balance on uneven surfaces, it may actually be a better choice for you!
If you are going to be testing your balance and practicing your balance in the future, it’s a great idea to invest in a balance pad like the ones above! Challenging your balance in a variety of ways, especially with uneven surfaces, helps your overall balance, increases confidence in your ability to get around, and will decrease your risk for falling!