Your organ of balance in the ear is a complex system that helps you maintain your balance. It perceives your movements and sends corresponding information to your brain. If something is wrong, this can result in dizziness, among other things. To ensure that you always stand securely on your feet without wobbling, you can of course support your ear's organ of balance with suitable training. We'll first briefly show you how your ear's vestibular system works, then we'll go into possible problems and finally show you which exercises are ideal for balance training.
Organ of balance: function
The organ of balance in the ear, the so-called vestibular apparatus, provides you with information about movements in the planes of space (up, down, left and right) and about linear accelerations, i.e. the increase or decrease in speed. In addition, special sensory cells perceive your balance sensations. In conjunction with your eyes and other sensory impressions, your brain processes all this data into an overall picture, thereby controlling your balancing movements - and thus ensuring that you always walk through life upright and wobble-free.
Organ of balance in the ear: structure
The organ of balance in the ear consists of two components. The static system is responsible for linear movements and gravity, and the arcuate system registers rotations. We don't want to bore you with all the details now, just this much for a more precise understanding: Fine hairs with sensory cells are responsible in both components for registering even the smallest movements, reporting them to the central nervous system and thus triggering the appropriate muscle movements in response. The goal (and thus also the function of the organ of balance in the ear) is always that you stand upright and do not fall.
Organ of equilibrium: malfunction
With such a complex system as the organ of balance in the ear, there can of course be disturbances from time to time. You probably know one of them from your own experience: the head rush when standing up quickly. Of course, this is only a very mild "complication", which usually regulates itself again after a short time. But it shows that without a functioning organ of equilibrium in the ear, you are really screwed. If you often feel dizzy, you should keep an eye on this and investigate the cause together with your doctor. By the way: There are many different types of dizziness and it helps your doctor enormously with the diagnosis if you can describe your dizziness very precisely. Is it more like spinning or swaying? Is it accompanied by soft knees or blurred vision? Do you feel like you're on a wobbly boat or more like you're in quicksand? If the dizziness is related to a disorder of the organ of equilibrium in the ear, it usually manifests itself in connection with eye tremors. And what other causes of dizziness or vertigo caused by the organ of balance in the ear are there?
Failure of the organ of balance: Causes
Both systems of your vestibular organ in the ear can naturally become diseased, for example due to inflammation. If this is the case, the information described above is no longer passed on correctly and the brain does not get a coherent overall picture. You then react to this "data chaos" with a dizziness, which is called vestibular dizziness in technical jargon, since it originates from your vestibular apparatus. Travel vertigo is similar, except that there is no organic cause (i.e. inflammation or similar) at the vestibular organ in the ear, but actually "only" contradictory information is sent from the vestibular organ in the ear and other sensory organs to the brain. For example, your eyes perceive that you are sitting and reading something, while your vestibular organ in the ear reports vibrations from driving on the road or the jerking of the tracks (i.e., motion). This can trigger dizziness and nausea as well.
Recognize positional vertigo
In older people, disorders of the vestibular organ in the ear are often manifested by so-called positional vertigo. This is triggered by a rapid change in the position of the head and usually manifests itself as rotational vertigo. In contrast to circulatory vertigo, it disappears again within a few seconds and is not accompanied by blackness before the eyes. The causes of positional vertigo can be formulated relatively clearly: The fine calcium carbonate crystals, which are actually involved in detecting linear accelerations in the organ of equilibrium in the ear, detach from their location and then swim around uncontrollably in the arcades of the inner ear. There they irritate the sensor cells, which in turn pass on false information and thus trigger a warning signal: rotational vertigo. This sounds dramatic, but positional vertigo can be excellently treated with the help of movement exercises.
Prevent & treat positional vertigo
Two exercises that work well to control positional vertigo include the Epley and Semont maneuvers. The goal with both is to move the free-floating crystals away from the sensory cells. However, please do not start with these exercises after self-diagnosis, but have your case clarified by a doctor. This person or another trained person should also be present during the first trainings, because at first both maneuvers trigger the dizziness. If the first improvements occur as a result of the training, and this usually happens very quickly, the exercises can be continued at home. Your doctor or physiotherapist will be happy to show you exactly how to do the exercises and what you need to keep in mind. After about five to ten days, the positional vertigo usually disappears, but beware: it can come back ... But then you know what you have to do.
Exercises for the organ of balance in the ear
Because the sense of balance is so extremely important to our everyday lives, there are always fascinating studies on this topic. New findings show, for example, that the organ of balance in the ear is involved not only in spatial orientation but also in the precise control of your body. As athletes, we naturally immediately think of the complex movement sequences of different sports, which you could optimize by training your sense of balance (equilibrium organ in the ear). But a well-developed balance is not only important in sports. Just think of the wobbly ride on the bus or cycling to work. With a secure balance, you can avoid many injuries here ... so let's best start training right away. The good news is that we haven't put together a boring workout for your ear balance organ, of course, but an exercise routine with fun factor.
Effective training on the balance board
We're going to show you a few exercises on the balance board, because that's simply our great passion, AND because balance training on the board has a huge advantage: You improve your balance in a very efficient way. You don't have to go anywhere or follow any course schedules, just hop on - when and where you want, or as your time management allows. Maybe you feel like exercising during your lunch break after hours of computer work. Or you want to work out in the evening. You decide when the fun begins. As a small suggestion, we offer the following routine, with which you can effectively train your sense of balance in the ear. Furthermore, you are of course welcome to get creative and give free rein to your ideas on the board.
Ear balance - Exercise 1: First just wiggle...
Let's start by getting a feel for the balance board. Just stand loosely hip-width on it, gladly at the beginning with a possibility to hold on to it. Now try to bring yourself into balance with small, slow movements. Our tip: Be careful not to get hectic or wiggle your arms at the beginning. Feel deeply into your feet, consolidate your stance and roll back and forth evenly. If you already feel secure in the basic position, you can close your eyes. How does it look now? It's going to be a lot more wobbly, isn't it? So balance again and keep your balance.
Equilibrium organ in the ear - exercise 2: then turn loosely...
This is where the "Telemark" comes in, the ideal entry trick for balance boarding. And it goes like this: Start standing hip-width apart on your board, perpendicular to the direction of surfing. Balance yourself first and then turn in the direction of surfing, i.e. 90 degrees - very slowly and controlled. Balance yourself optimally in the new position before you turn back to the starting position. Of course, you can repeat this trick an infinite number of times, increasing your speed as you go.
Organ of balance in the ear - Exercise 3: then walk a little...
Once the "Telemark" is in place, you can try the "Hang Five" on your balance board. To do this, you also turn from the starting position in the direction of the surf, balance yourself and walk in small steps to the tip of the board, which your front foot then grips. This is not soooo easy and probably wobbles a lot, right? Now you should let your movements run even more controlled by a strong body tension ... then it will be alright. Of course, practice makes perfect, so feel free to repeat again and again.
Organ of balance in the ear - exercise 4: and now a little jump!
If you are now relatively confident on your balance board thanks to the previous exercises, then you can try your first jump. It doesn't matter at all in which position or how high you jump. Just feel into yourself and go only as far as you are really sure. Maybe you just start a small jump from the basic position and try to land exactly the same way again. Or you change your stance in the direction of the surf and then jump. Slowly increase your jump height and - now it's getting really professional - try to turn around while jumping.
We wish you a lot of success with your training for the organ of balance in your ear and would like to give you one more thing to take with you on your way: Just have fun on your board - the improvement of the sense of balance or the organ of balance in the ear will come all by itself!