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Stimulating The Sense Of Balance – Vestibular Perception

In this article you will find some suggestions for games, exercises and sports that can be used to promote and train children’s sense of balance and vestibular perception.

Keeping balance without technical aids

Standing on one leg is very simple but effective. This can be playfully implemented by imitating animals (e.g. stork). Standing on one leg can still be varied, for example by older children catching a ball at the same time. Jumping on one leg or with closed legs trains the sense of balance. Sack hopping, for example, is a well-known child’s game, which children enjoy again and again. Also jumping games are very popular, especially in primary school age.

Trampoline jumping

Trampoline jumping is excellent for stimulating the sense of balance. The unstable standing surface of the trampoline ensures constant control of the balance. The reactivity of the muscles increases.

Balancing and walking on stilts

Balancing trains the sense of balance. Children love to balance. You don’t need much material for that. Let the children balance on a curb (best on a play street), on a small tree trunk or on a sandpit border. Walking backwards on the sidewalk also trains the sense of balance and can be practiced from approx. 3 years.

If you place a bench on the seat so that their feet point upwards, children can balance on the bench.

Especially for girls “tightrope dancing” is popular. A rope is laid on the floor for this purpose. The children then balance on the rope as if it were a high rope.

Plastic pot stilts are suitable for walking on stilts.

Special balancing equipment

For balancing there are many products on the market, e.g. rocking boards, gyros and nodding boards. All these devices can be used to train the equilibrium sines.

The nodding board, for example, is a round board with a wooden ball under it. You stand on it and move in different directions. The board tilts sideways, forwards or backwards and you have to try to hold it in the middle. Children can balance on the nodding board and bob while sitting, standing, kneeling or lying down, on their stomach or back. This playfully trains the coordination of movement sequences and balance.

The slackline is also very popular. This is a belt stretched between two trees. You balance on the belt and feel like a “tightrope walker”. Climbing courses are also very trendy.

Turning and rolling around the body’s longitudinal axis

Tons, tubes or therapy spinning tops are very suitable for turning and rolling around the body’s longitudinal axis. The therapy spinning tops are used for coordination, balance and muscle dysfunction. Alternatively, children can also roll down a mountain.

Equilibrium training with an Isomatte

This exercise is particularly suitable for restless children or for children whose sense of balance is not age-appropriate. As material 6 small tennis balls and an Isomatte are needed. Procedure: 6 balls are placed under the mat. The mat is stabilized by 4 children – one at each corner. A child lies down on the mat. The mat is then carefully moved back and forth by the other 4 children. The gentle movement stimulates the sense of balance of the child lying on the mat.

Swinging and seesawing

Hammocks, swings, baby bouncers, seesaws, cradles, rocking chairs and room slides stimulate the organ of balance. Already with newborns this is stimulated by the rocking movement of the mother. Swaying in people with a disability can be supported by rhythmic accompaniment, i.e. music can also be used when swinging. The same music can also always be played during a certain rocking movement.

Ball games

The child rolls over a big ball. Or the child sits down on a ball and tries to keep the balance. The bouncing ball is also popular: it promotes general endurance and mobility and trains the sense of balance.

Sports that stimulate the sense of balance

The following sports particularly promote the sense of balance:

  • Judo
  • dancing
  • apparatus gymnastics
  • horseback riding
  • inline skating
  • skating
  • Cycling

Indications for Vestibular Rehabilitation

Bearing fraud: This is probably the best known form of dizziness. Positioning dizziness is dizziness that only occurs at a ‘certain’ head position or when the position changes. With only one treatment, the dizziness can be corrected by certain maneuvers with immediate effect!

Since the right or left vestibular organ can be affected in the case of positional dizziness and the rear, lateral or anterior arcuate can then be affected in the affected vestibular organ, diagnosis and treatment by an expert is absolutely necessary! Unfortunately, ENT doctors do not have much time for patients and therefore handouts are always given for self-treatment.

I find it extremely irresponsible to expect anxious and very insecure patients to treat themselves! Then, unfortunately, there are also many ‘unsuspecting’ people (doctors, therapists and affected persons) who watch videos and treat afterwards without knowing which ear and which archway is affected. This can lead to several arches being involved, which ultimately makes the treatment unnecessarily difficult!