I just returned from my daily trip to the hospital, and today, a nurse’s station was setup in the foyer graciously screening blood pressures for passersby.  It dawned upon me that I check blood pressure for patients all day long, but never have my own checked.  So I decided to stop and participate, (incidentally, my pressure was on the low side of normal).  As I sat in the chair it occurred to me how many individuals have high blood pressure that never stop to have it checked, and what an enormous mistake this is.  Disorders of high blood pressure such as stroke, can be averted before they occur with simple management of their blood pressure before it becomes a problem.  The real problem however is that most people don’t perceive that anything is wrong as high blood pressure is insidious with no real signs or symptoms, until something goes catastrophically wrong, such as a stroke, or aneurism.   Well, then it occurred to me that the same thing occurs with balance loss and falls.  Most people don’t know they have a balance problem because they don’t perceive it, (which is a big mistake), and then, suddenly, one day fall and end up in the hospital with a pelvic fracture or even worse.  Not unlike high blood pressure, imbalance is insidious, you do not perceive that your balance is bad, until it gets sufficiently bad that you begin stumbling about.  It is at this point that imbalance becomes notable.  By the time that you realize that you have poor balance, or a balance problem, the cause has already long passed the point of early intervention.  Much like blood pressure, individual’s need to be screened regularly for balance and fall risk to obtain the benefits of early intervention when there is a problem.  Using specialized “computerized posturography” balance testing equipment, in twenty seconds we can determine your stability, your risk of fall, and whether or not you may have a potential neurologic problem that could easily be remedied with early intervention.  My office performs this test free of charge as a community service.  We offer each individual who chooses to take advantage of it four tests annually, all free of charge.  As the test takes little time, it is cheap insurance to stop in once a season and get screened, pass, and get scheduled again for the following season.  Additionally, it should be noted that balance loss is the first sign of a neurologic problem with disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc.  Please call our office at (732) 229-5250 to set up a free screening, or to discuss candidacy for treatment of a health concern.

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