What is Balance?

150 150 Tonya Fuller

Your balance is made up of 3 primary systems: VISION, SENSORY, AND VESTIBULAR (equilibrium from the ears). Each system plays a role in keeping you upright and preventing a fall. How do each of these systems work?


Your vision provides you with information about WHERE you are compared to your surroundings. You can use it to help with balance by focusing on a specific object to tell your brain that you are upright compared to that object. Your vision is also your first source of danger, so it will tell your brain if you need to move quickly to avoid a dangerous situation.

With age, our vision begins to deteriorate and can affect our balance.


Your sensory system (or Somatosensory) is a combination of what you feel and how your joints move to tell your brain where your BODY is in space. It is your primary balance system on firm and flat surfaces, making up to 70% of your overall balance.

With age, loss of sensation can occur, as well as decreased mobility in our joints. One, or both, of these can affect our balance.


Your vestibular system, or inner ear balance, tells your brain where your HEAD is in space. It is your primary balance system on unstable surfaces such as, grass, gravel, uneven sidewalks, stairs, ramps, and sand. It makes up to 60% of your overall balance on these surfaces. This system is also responsible for keeping your eyes still while your head is moving, telling your brain what direction and how fast your head is moving, and if your body is moving through space. Impairments in this system can cause dizziness with motion.

With age, hearing loss and basic degeneration of the vestibular organ can affect your balance.


We specialize in treating dizziness and balance disorders that come with aging, or with any other neurological injury such as, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and brain injury.


Call 720-647-3456 to schedule an appointment or for any questions you may have.