What is Medio-Lateral Stability?
Medio-lateral stability is a term used to describe the balance between the right and left sides of your body. For example, when you take a step forward, you need to have the same amount of weight on each leg. If you have more weight on one side than another, that’s not stable.
Aging Effects on Medio-Lateral Balance
The effects of aging on medio-lateral stability are complex, as the body undergoes many changes as it ages. These changes can lead to a decreased ability to maintain balance in the medio-lateral plane.
As we age, our ability to maintain our balance becomes more difficult. This is due to a number of factors, including the loss of proprioception and vestibular function that occurs with age. These losses can be acute and/or chronic, depending on the specific age group being studied and the type of activity being performed.
The most common cause of falls in older adults is loss of balance control (American Geriatrics Society). In order to prevent falls, it is important to understand how balance changes as we age.
Balance control is important for safe function in everyday activities such as walking and standing upright. Balance control also impacts more complex motor skills such as running, bending over and reaching for an object. As we age, our balance abilities are reduced due to changes within our bodies that occur naturally over time. These changes include a loss of muscle mass and strength as well as a decrease in sensory acuity with vision loss being most common among older adults (Lohman et al., 2005).
Why is Medio-Lateral Stability Important?
Medio-Lateral Stability is important because it helps prevent ankle sprain, which requires a lot of strength and stability in the muscles surrounding the ankle.
Medio-lateral stability is important because it helps you:
- Keep your balance while running
- Do a side split or cartwheel
- Be more stable when you’re on one foot, such as when you’re getting ready to shoot a free throw in basketball, or kicking off in soccer
- It helps you to maintain a straight line when walking and running.
- When it’s not working properly, you may experience pain in your hips and knees.
- You’ll be able to do more activities without hurting yourself or feeling like you’re going to fall over!
How Does a Medio-Lateral Stability Shoe Enhance Balance and Control?
The medio-lateral stability shoe enhances balance and control by providing a stable platform for the foot, which is important for athletes who need to be able to move quickly and in different directions.
The shoe provides this stability through the use of special materials, including a wide base, firm heel counter, and supportive midsole. This combination keeps the foot stable while still allowing it to be flexible enough to move quickly.
Medio-Lateral Exercises You Can Do at Home
The following medio-lateral stability exercises are designed to improve your ability to maintain balance while standing on one foot and moving your center of gravity across the base of support.
Single-Leg Standing Balance
Stand on one foot with your eyes closed and hold this position for as long as possible. If you lose your balance, don’t try to right yourself immediately—just wait until you feel stable again before trying again.
Single-Leg Balance with Reach
Stand on one foot with your eyes closed and reach out to touch an object straight ahead of you on the floor or wall (as far away from your body as possible). Once you’ve touched it, stand there for 30 seconds without moving!
Stand with your back against a wall, facing away from it. Slowly lean back until your body touches the wall behind you without letting either foot leave the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds before standing up straight again and repeating this exercise several times over time as needed until it becomes easier than before.
The iliotibial band is a thick, fibrous band of connective tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. It connects the tensor fascia latae muscle to the tibia (shinbone). The iliotibial band’s function is to stabilize the femur (thighbone) on top of the tibia so you can move your hips and legs in all directions.
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is an injury that occurs when there is excessive tension on the iliotibial band, usually because of overuse or repetitive motion. This causes inflammation in this area and can eventually lead to pain at rest or during activity. Iliotibial band syndrome most often affects people who participate in sports or activities that require side-to-side movement like running or cycling.
Mediolateral stability refers to how well your hips stay aligned when you move them from side to side or front to back; it’s important for preventing knee injuries like ITBS because if your hips aren’t stable they won’t be able to absorb shock properly during impact activities like running or cycling.
How Do I Improve My Medio-Lateral Stability?
Improving medio-lateral stability is all about building strength in the muscles that support your hips and pelvis, including:
Gluteus maximus – This muscle is responsible for extension at the hip joint and external rotation at the hip joint (when you put your leg out to the side). It stabilizes the pelvis during running and jumping activities.
Hamstrings – The hamstrings are responsible for flexion at the knee joint and lateral flexion at the hip joint (when you bring your leg up toward your chest). They also stabilize your pelvis during running and jumping activities.
Erector spinae – These muscles extend from the lumbar vertebrae through the thoracic spine into the skull. They help support your posture when standing upright or sitting upright against resistance from gravity (like when pushing yourself up from lying flat on your back).
Other ways include:
- Strengthening the core muscles with a rotation of the hips.
- Improving posture by strengthening the spinal erectors and abdominal muscles.
- Strengthening the gluteal muscles, especially in eccentric contractions (i.e., when you’re lowering yourself down from a squat).
- Adding strength training to the program on a daily basis, such as squats or lunges with dumbbells or resistance bands.
Methods of Improving Medio-Lateral Stability
There are several methods that can be used to improve medio-lateral stability, including:
- The single leg squat with a dumbbell or weight plate held at chest height (not on shoulders)
- The single leg squat with an elastic band attached to the ankle and anchored above the opposite shoulder (the band should be taught in a way that allows it to move freely up and down).
- The single leg squat with a rubber band attached around the knees and anchored above both shoulders (again, this should be taught in a way that allows it to move freely up and down).
Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device
Orthomed Shoulder Brace
Orthomed Shoulder Brace
Orthomed Shoulder Brace
Orthomed Shoulder Brace