I love this question! The short answer is simple. Physical therapy is great and it does work for a lot of folks. The shortfall may come in the patients line of thinking. For some individuals, they will have very high, sometimes unrealistic, expecatations of where their balance should be at the end of three to four weeks. The problem with those types of expectations are solved by one statement my Uncle would say to me sometimes, "You can't walk into the woods five miles, turn around and expect to walk out in one!" Second, PT doesn't always address all of the under lying issues such as, lack of leg strength, poor posture and lack of flexibility. Any of these three issues will change the way the body is built to move. If you lack leg strength, you typically can't stand or walk for long periods of time. If your posture is not great and you hunch over, this changes your center of gravity and the way the body was built to align itself through movement. If you lack flexibility, this will prevent muscles (particularly the hamstrings) from moving through there entire range of motion they are responsible for moving through. This can shorten the gait length and force other muslces to pick up the "slack". Also, at the end of PT, the patient is given a sheet of exercises they are responsible for perfoming on a daily, or every other day schedule. By show of hands, how many of us have kept that schedule? That's what I thought!
It's funny how you always showed up for all of your PT appointments though. And you executed all the exercises, sets and reps. Most would even admit that therapy did work, at least a little bit. Then, your insurance stops covering your sessions and you get your sheet of exercises for you to do on your own. For most, they have great intentions but life gets in the way. There's golf, pickleball, The Price is Right, happy hour and then hair appointments... the list goes on!
Balance University forces you to show up to a one-hour class, one time per week for 45-60 minutes. The cost is only $99 ($9.90/class) and you will be guided through the program by a Balance University certified trainer (at the moment, we do not accept insurance.). So, to answer the question, why should you try Balance University, even though you've tried physical therapy because:
1. Balance University is built on four core pillars: improve leg strength (which is a life indicator), improve posture, increase flexibility and balance exercises. We focus on the entire problem, not just balance. We fix the underlying issues.
2. The BU course lasts 10-weeks, not three or four.
3. The program focuses on neuromuscular efficiency. That's a fancy term we use so that people think us "experts" know what we're talking about. Neuromuscular efficiency is the communication network between the brain and the muscles. The more you work on their "marriage", the better they will communicate, the better balance and life you will have!
4. You don't have to deal with insurance!
5. You can take the 10-week course over and over again. You could possibly end up with two or more doctorate's in balance!
6. The BU program can be modified for anyone in any condition. From healthy on two feet to wheelchair or bed bound. This program has alternative exercises to make everyone successful.
7. BU is a progressive program. The next week is always tougher and more challenging than the previous.
8. You do NOT need a bunch of fancy, expensive equipment to complete the program.
9. BU helps improve osteoporosis by utilizing many of the same exercises that you would find on the Osteoporosis Foundation’s website.
10. Instead of just a sheet with exercises, BU is a book that gives you the "what's next" exercise. So, after you have mastered a exercise, there's no guessing on what to do next. Just flip to the following week.
I would love for everyone 65 and older to go through the Balance University program! It will help you stay mobile, independent and healthy!