Functional mobility is a person’s ability to move around their environment and complete everyday tasks. A person’s environment is the space they move in and interact with, such as their house or place of work. Getting up from a chair, walking up the stairs, or making yourself food are just a few examples of how functional mobility could be measured.
Most people free from injury can move around their environment freely without limitation and have no problem completing daily tasks. Patients who suffer prolonged immobilization due to injury or surgery could experience pain when they try to walk, or their muscles could be significantly weakened from not being used which will effectively decrease their functional mobility. Disorders affecting the vestibular system, which helps controls balance, can cause dizziness and vertigo, and are also capable of decreasing functional mobility.
If you have difficulty with mobility following an injury or you’re experiencing dizziness that affects your day to day activities, you should consult a physical therapist immediately. The therapist can administer a series of tests that measure your functionality to find out which part of your body is causing the limited mobility.
After an evaluation, therapists can increase your mobility by helping you set personal goals and measuring your progress at each session. Depending on what’s causing the lack of functional mobility, your therapist will put you through different balance exercises and may provide you some exercises to do on your own at home. If you’re using crutches, a wheelchair, or a walker to maintain balance, your therapist will teach you how to perform everyday activities like using the bathroom or taking a shower.
At Advance Physical Therapy in Astoria NY, we offer personalized balance exercises to increase your functional mobility and decrease your dependence on walking assistance. Contact us today to meet with one of our qualified therapists and take the first step towards recovery.