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Why Is The Brain Important For Balance?

Nassau Suffolk Neurology > Blog > Uncategorized > Why Is The Brain Important For Balance?

It’s easy to take the vestibular system for granted. Depending on your age or ability level, you likely don’t think twice about sitting up straight, walking around, or standing. While these processes may seem effortless, your brain is constantly working to keep your vestibular system functioning correctly. The balance system is complex, but our expert neurologist at Nassau Suffolk Neurology has a thorough understanding of this system and its unique components. Continue reading to discover why the brain is essential for balance. 

Why is the Brain Important for Balance?

Your brain functions a lot like a factory, with several systems working and serving a unique purpose to keep you moving throughout the world. The balance system engages several areas of your brain, but the main area of the brain that controls balance is the cerebellum. Located at the very back of your skull, the cerebellum controls functions such as movement, posture, speech, and balance. Several other parts of your brain also contribute to balance, including the vestibular system. Located in your inner ear, the vestibular system provides the brain with information on things like sudden movements, motion, and head position. This helps maintain balance by ensuring your brain processes the body’s position whenever it changes. Balance is achieved and supported by a set of control systems that include:

  • Visual System – Vision allows you to see where your body and head are in relation to the world around you and sense movement between you and your environment. 
  • Proprioception – Sensors sensitive to pressure in your joints, muscles, and tendons help the brain understand how your lower extremities are positioned compared to the ground and how the head is positioned in comparison to your shoulders and chest. 
  • Vestibular System – The organs in the inner ear deliver information to your brain about the position and movements of your head. The semicircular canals in the ears sense when you move your head and keep vision clear. The utricle and saccule tell your brain when your head moves and sense your head position when it is still. 

Information from all these areas is sent to the brain stem and controls balance using the information applicable to a particular environmental situation. If you feel off-balance, one of these critical systems may not be working properly. The aging process, injury, medications, and disease can affect one or more of these control systems and impair your sense of balance. Nassau Suffolk Neurology can evaluate the cause of your balance issues and determine the appropriate treatment to improve how your body uses all of these systems together. 

Contact Us 

At Nassau Suffolk Neurology, we specialize in diagnosing vestibular disorders. Our dedicated staff can evaluate your balance issues and determine the best course of action to relieve your symptoms and restore your balance. Be sure to contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more!