Author: Peoria Ear, Nose & Throat Group

Let’s Get FYZICAL – Fight The Fall

September 22nd is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, and FYZICAL is bringing the focus to this very important topic. Each year, more than 3 million older people are injured in falls and receive treatment in emergency departments.

Falls are not an inevitable result of aging. They are preventable, and there are steps you can take to improve balance and decrease the chances of falling. Early intervention is key if you or someone you know is suffering from imbalance.

Most people have experienced a fall at some point, maybe after losing their balance or tripping over an object. Although common, falls can be dangerous and lead to many types of injuries. Fortunately, the most common causes of falling are also preventable.

How can physical therapy help prevent falls?

Improving your walking skills (gait) and your balance are interrelated challenges. At FYZICAL Peoria, we help you master these skills to decrease your risk of injury, while also increasing your confidence and independence.

Gait and balance training have a number of benefits, including avoiding injuries associated with falls or dizziness, increased confidence with your footing and movement, and reduced pain from poor gait or posture.

What happens in this training?

First, your gait is evaluated to determine potential problems. Simple movements to test balance are also part of this screening. These basic evaluations help us know what to focus on in therapy.

Poor posture as well as hip and ankle weakness can lead to balance problems. Strength and flexibility can help counteract these. Steps as simple as leg lifts (while seated in a chair), standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or visual tracking exercise can all help alleviate these issues.

This self-assessment quiz can help determine if you or your loved one are at risk for a fall:

I have fallen in the past year.

Yes (2)


I use or have been advised to use a cane or walker.

Yes (2)


I sometimes lose my balance while walking.

Yes (1)


I worry about falling.

Yes (1)


I use my arms to push myself up from a chair.

Yes (1)


I sometimes have trouble stepping up onto a curb.

Yes (1)


My body sways when standing stationary.

Yes (1)


I take short narrow steps.

Yes (1)


I stumble often or look at the ground when I walk.

Yes (1)


I frequently have to rush to the toilet.

Yes (1)


I have lost some feeling in one or both of my feet.

Yes (1)


My medication makes me feel light-headed or sleepy.

Yes (1)


If you scored four points or more, schedule your fall risk evaluation today.

Contact FYZICAL Peoria today by visiting our website or calling (309) 589-5900 to Fight the Fall.


Allergies and Children

Allergy causes are all around us. They can include airborne allergens (such as mold, pollen, animal dander, or dust mites), foods (particularly peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, or milk), insect stings, medications, or latex or other substances. When you have allergies, your immune system reacts by producing antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with that allergen, your system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system. Nearly 18% of children suffer from one or more allergy, and almost 6% have a food allergy.

Any child can develop allergies, but they are more common in children with a family history of allergies. Early identification of childhood allergies will help improve your child’s quality of life, reduce the number of missed school days, and help you avoid having to use sick time or vacation time to care for your child.

Symptoms range from mild to severe, including sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, or throat, runny or stuffy nose, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, or a rash. In the most extreme cases, it can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

If you suspect your child has an allergy, make an appointment to see an allergist. It can also be helpful to start a diary before the appointment and keep track of what symptoms your child experiences and any possible ‘triggers’ that may have caused them.

At Peoria ENT, our team of allergy & asthma specialists are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of care. Our highly-trained providers have completed several years of specialized education and will take the time to diagnose your symptoms and discover the best treatment option. Our providers treat both pediatrics and adults to find the right treatment for you, no matter your age.

Treatment options for allergies may involve managing symptoms through various approaches. These can include using antihistamine creams or pills, steroid creams, inhalers, or auto-injectors. Another approach involves avoiding allergens, which is particularly useful for allergies triggered by food, drugs, venom, latex, or pet dander. In cases of acute tongue swelling or anaphylaxis, rescue medications are available. Additionally, immunotherapy can be employed, wherein allergy shots containing a small amount of a specific allergen are administered to stimulate the immune system without causing a full reaction. This gradually builds up the body’s tolerance to the allergen over time.

For more information, please visit our website at or call (309) 589-5900.

Motor Control: The Body-Brain Connection

Let’s start with a riddle: What do these four people have in common?

  • A teenage football player sprained his ankle a week after returning to play after a concussion.
  • 75-year-old grandmother with Parkinson’s disease tripped on an uneven sidewalk, fell and broke her hip.
  • 47-year-old construction worker trips over an electrical cord
  • 35-year-old administrative assistant got progressive lenses on her new glasses and slips on a wet floor.

All have suffered injuries, but more than that, they all may be referred to rehabilitation for consequences after falling. But that is where the similarities end. Each person will require a different treatment based on the underlying reason for the fall. Whether the focus is on neurological, orthopedic or sport rehabilitation, applying motor control principles is key to identifying task impairments and targeting the training program to achieve success.

So, what exactly is motor control? It’s a science that explores how the nervous system interacts with other body systems and the environment to produce purposeful, coordinated movements. It looks at perspectives from biomechanics, kinesiology, neurophysiology, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology to answer the question of “how do we organize and produce movement?”

The brain adapts motor outputs to respond to changing sensory inputs from both the body and the external environment. This ranges from day-to-day activities to complex sports. The central nervous system selects, suppresses, and combines these inputs to determine the most correct response and create the desired movement.

Our ability to balance and perform complex motor skills occurs at several levels in the nervous system. Automatic reactions to our posture occur as a response to losing balance from a slip, an uneven surface, or other external perturbation of the center of mass. These semi-automatic, pre-programmed postural reactions can be modified with training.

At FYZICAL, we use a virtual reality system called BERTEC CDP/IVR, which is used to diagnose balance problems. By combining immersive virtual environments with dual-balance force plate technology, we can assess the direct point of a person’s dizziness, balance problems, or motion sickness. If you’ve been struggling with any of these issues, make an appointment with us today!

Contact FYZICAL Peoria today by visiting our website or calling (309) 589-5900 to Love Your Life this summer!


How Physical Therapists Can Help You Love Your Life

During warmer summer months, there are far more opportunities for outdoor work and play. With these opportunities comes risks with walking on uneven surfaces such as grassy yards and potential difficulty completing yard work or gardening tasks. These difficulties can be due to balance deficits, weakness, pain, or lack of mobility – all of which are areas which can be targeted and treated by physical therapy. Live life to the fullest this summer!

Many people underestimate, or perhaps are unaware of, the capabilities of physical therapists. The main goal is to optimize overall health and wellness so patients can love their lives.

Physical therapists examine patients and develop treatment plans to improve their ability to move, reduce or manage pain, restore function and prevent disability.

Orthopedic rehabilitation is a form of therapy that treats a wide variety of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. It includes physical therapy rehabilitation, pain management, pre- and post-surgical care, and more.

FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers offers rehabilitation, wellness, and prevention programs that help patients resume an independent, healthy lifestyle. Patients with musculoskeletal pain can experience significant improvement through physical therapy.

Benefits of Orthopedic Rehabilitation

  • Maximize Your Movement – Pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of life, your ability to earn a living, and your independence. Physical therapists are movement experts who can identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems.
  • Participate in Your Recovery – Physical therapists work collaboratively with our Patients, designing treatment plans for each person’s individual goals, challenges, and needs.
  • Avoid Opioids – Opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. In some situations, dosed appropriately, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safer alternatives like physical therapy for most long-term pain.
  • Avoid Surgery – Before you undergo expensive or invasive surgery, try physical therapy. For some conditions, including meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disk disease, treatment by a physical therapist has been found to be as effective as surgery.

At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers – Peoria, our therapy team is educated and specially trained in treatment of chronic conditions like arthritis, back pain, jaw pain, overuse injuries, muscle weakness and more. We also treat patients who have experienced concussions, vertigo, imbalance, and frequent falls.

What to expect at FYZICAL

Physical therapy is a vital part of restoring function and independence, but is not a one-time quick fix. Your body takes time to recover, improve range of motion, increase strength, and restore connection between brain and body. At FYZICAL Peoria, one of our physical therapists will evaluate you at your initial visit, assessing various components relating to your specific concerns and deficits. Following evaluation, treatments are typically 40-60 minutes multiple times a week and are customized to YOU!

We now offer Direct Access, giving you the opportunity to seek the care that you need, now. You can receive an evaluation and treatment from a physical therapist without a physician’s referral or prescription. Most third-party insurance companies will cover your Direct Access physical therapy visits. Our team will check your benefits and explain your coverage during your evaluation visit.

Contact FYZICAL Peoria today by visiting our website or calling (309) 589-5900 to Love Your Life this summer!


Better Hearing Month

In 1927, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) designated May as Better Hearing and Speech Month. Encouraging people to think about their own hearing and get their hearing checked is the first step towards addressing the issue of hearing loss.

Noise is now acknowledged as an important public health issue and is actually a top environmental risk faced by the world today, according to the World Health Organization’s first World Report on Hearing.

The average person is born with about 16,000 hair cells within the inner ear, which allow your brain to detect sounds. You can lose 30-50% of those cells before changes in your hearing can be measured by a hearing test. Noise can also damage the auditory nerve that carries information about sounds to your brain. Although there is no treatment to restore normal hearing once it has been damaged, you can help prevent hearing loss.

Since 1967, Starkey has led the way in hearing aid breakthroughs, providing quality products that withstand the most grueling quality control processes in the industry. All of their hearing aids must first survive over 50 performance and durability tests. With over 360 active software and hardware patents, Starkey is a leader in better hearing.

Their new Genesis AI hearing aids feature an all-new processor, sound, design and software for an all-new patient experience. With the industry’s most advanced processor technology, it mimics the cerebral cortex of the human brain. It adapts to more listening situations than ever before, utilizing complex pattern recognition with advanced machine learning technology.

Early identification and intervention for hearing loss is important. Unidentified hearing loss causes many people to fail to realize they are missing certain words and sounds. Our highly-trained audiologists have completed several years of specialized education in order to appropriately treat patients for a variety of auditory conditions, including hearing loss. They will take the time to diagnose your symptoms and discover the best treatment option for you.

Dentistry & Physical Therapy: An Unlikely Duo

While physical therapy and dentistry may not seem to be related, they can actually go hand in hand. While you may not have directly related issues, you may suffer from neck pain, jaw pain, or headaches. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Continue reading “Dentistry & Physical Therapy: An Unlikely Duo”

Finding Sinus Relief

Chronic sinusitis occurs when your sinuses are swollen and inflamed for three months or longer, interfering with the way mucus drains and making your nose stuffy. Breathing through your nose may be difficult, and the area around your eyes may feel tender or swollen. It can be caused by an infection, growths in the sinuses (nasal polyps), or by swelling of the sinus lining. Continue reading “Finding Sinus Relief”

The Benefits of Assisted Devices

Individuals with disabilities, injuries, or older adults who are at an increased risk of falling may choose to use an assisted device. These devices such as canes, walkers, etc. can benefit patients in several ways.

Assisted devices promote independence and increase activity level and mobility. They reduce the stress on caretakers and family members, improving their quality of life and that of the person they are caring for. These devices also reduce the risk for falls and injuries, and reduce early entry into care homes and hospitals.

Finding the right type of assisted device is crucial. One of our physical therapists can help. By assessing your balance, gait, cognition, musculoskeletal challenges, cardiovascular fitness and any neurological conditions, they can help recommend what device best suits your needs. You may also need an assisted device that matches your weight-bearing status. The most common type of assisted devices include canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and more.

Canes and crutches both support the body’s weight and help transmit the load from the legs to the upper body. However, canes take less weight off the lower body and place greater pressure on the wrists and hands. Canes and walking sticks come in a variety of designs. However, they need to be sized properly and have a grip that you are comfortable using. It is estimated that 1 in every 10 adults over the age of 65 in the United States uses a cane.

Walkers are very stable devices that are used by nearly 5 percent of adults in the United States over the age of 65. The metal framework has for legs that provide support and stability to the user. Some walkers have wheels or glides on the base of the legs.

Wheelchairs are best for those who should not put weight on their lower limbs or who are unable to walk. They can be manually propelled by the user, pushed by someone else, or power electrically.

For more information on assisted devices, please visit our website at or call (309) 589-5900 today.


The Importance of the Thyroid Gland

Your thyroid gland is something you may not ever think about. As long as it’s functioning properly, it’s always working – making sure it produces the right amount of hormones necessary for all the cells in your body to work normally. However, when your thyroid gland malfunctions, the food you eat may not make the transition to energy that you need for all the processes that sustain your life. Continue reading “The Importance of the Thyroid Gland”