September 14, 2019 at 4:53 pm #13173
Are you experiencing occasional bouts of dizziness? No, it’s not a new symptom of ALS (or aging!). Your dizziness is most likely a result of your new normal life with ALS – – a life with a lot more sitting and a lot less head movement.
When we used to do simple things like: look over our shoulder or bend down to pick something up, we were stimulating our inner ears and vestibular (balance) system. But over time, with less stimulation even the simplest of movements can trigger an over-reaction inside our inner ears; causing balance wobbles and disorientation.
How to maintain inner ear health? It’s easy:
- The best exercises for inner ear health are ones that move the head up, down, sideways and in full rotations. Also called, “head nods.”
- You can do them standing, sitting (leaning forward with forearms on your thighs) or lying flat on the stomach while propped up on your elbows.
- You can also spin! (yikes!) No, I’m only kidding – – but do check out my Z-Health link (below) for a unique and easy way to rotate (spin) your inner ear while sitting in a chair!
So, our ALS wellness challenge this weekend is to learn about the importance of maintaining inner ear health AND to do a few gentle head nods (and spins?) every day.
- ALS & Wellness Blog: Balance – – from Outer Space to Inner Ear!
- Z-Health Performance: Balance Training and Fall & Injury Prevention – Episode 298
What other wellness tips would you like to see posted?
September 20, 2019 at 7:13 pm #13238
Has anyone tried these exercises? Did they help?
September 22, 2019 at 10:59 am #13240Diana BellandParticipant
I’ve not yet experienced bouts of dizziness, but, thanks to the helpful links on your blog, I have been doing head nods as part of my regular 25 minute morning Original Strength routine since mid-March, 2019 or more than six months. I do think doing head nods regularly helps alleviate some of the muscle stiffness in my neck and helps to maintain flexibility.
I enjoyed watching the Z-Health video very much. The instructor is very appealing and his directions are easy to follow. I haven’t tried rotating in a chair yet, but I may give that a whirl (sorry for the bad pun!)
Other wellness tips I would like to see posted:
Wellness tips on maintaining leg strength and balance are always appreciated. I do air squats twice a day, and I also do “free standing,” for 30-60 seconds three times a day. I stand without any support but with my rollator handles at my finger tips in case my balance starts to weaken. I hope that these intervals of unsupported standing are helping me to maintain leg strength and some degree of stability for as long as possible.
September 23, 2019 at 4:50 pm #13253
Great suggestions Diana! I’ll put together a post on leg strength.
Meanwhile, RE: free standing – – I position myself with my rollator locked down in front of me and a sturdy chair behind me (as a safety landing spot). Then stand with feet apart: using the width of your rollator wheels as a guide. My width is just within the wheel’s width. That should put you in a solid, sturdy stance. From there, assume good posture and tighten thigh and butt muscles. Try holding this balance with hands just above the handlebars. Go for 60 seconds. Build up to a 5 or 10 minute free stand. I always challenge myself to lengthen the time. Now, during the 10-minutes I do arm circles and side bends.
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