Balancing Act: Spring Hill Physical Therapy center adds balancing facility to help with stability

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

When: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on May 9

Marion Gilbert has owned Spring Hill Physical Therapy center for over 20 years.

She has been helping people recover from surgery and various ailments, but it wasn’t until recently that she noticed a problem her center hadn’t been treating: balance and stability.

“I just started to see that more and more people were having difficulty (balancing) being in a rural area and staying in their homes and aging,” she said.

Over the past year, the physical therapy center began adding balance equipment and retraining its therapists to specifically deal with issues of falling. In the last few months, the center officially expanded, becoming the Spring Hill Physical Therapy & Fyzical Balance Center. In May, the balance center is hosting an open house for residents to see and test drive the new equipment.

FALLING CAN BE FATAL

In 2016, the Center for Disease Control found older people falling to be “the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans.”

Marion has noticed this issue in Nevada County’s aging population. Residents have complained to her that they “can’t hop the rocks of the river anymore” or they can’t be as active on sloping terrain.

Thira Gilbert, Marion’s daughter and the office manager, agreed.

“Falls are a really prevalent medical issue,” said Thira Gilbert.

The office manager said the local Fyzical Balance Center — which is part of a broader company — began seeing rebalancing clients in March.

“They bring amazing resources to small (physical therapy) clinics,” Marion Gilbert said of the national company.

HOLISTIC CARE

It’s not only the elderly that need rebalancing therapy.

“Even younger athletes who have injuries” can find the facility useful, said Marion Gilbert, adding that about 20 to 30 people have used the center.

“It’s a whole new opening for people working to retrain not only their bodies but also their brains so they have a higher level of functioning,” she said.

Therapists at the center create custom treatment plans for people experiencing pain, vertigo, neurological problems and orthopedic or pelvic problems. In addition to rebalancing equipment and harnesses, the center is offering yoga and Pilates classes. The owner also wants to offer body mechanics and healthy spine classes and consultations.

“We really address the person,” said Marion Gilbert, noting the importance of the body, mind and spirit in interpreting an individual’s problems. The owner admitted balancing issues are often multifaceted, possibly relating to a client’s mobility, core strength, hearing or vision.

“It’s been amazing to watch people go through the process and experience it,” said Thira Gilbert. The office manager has seen people walk without aid after receiving therapy.

Maybe most amazing to the owner is the updated medical science revealing the plasticity of the brain, and how we can retrain it to do things like balance. When Marion Gilbert was in school, the nervous system was believed to be static, she said. Today, that is no longer thought to be true.

“There is so much more that can actually be restored that was lost, and that’s very exciting,” said Marion Gilbert.

Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at scorey@theunion.com .

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