Vision Therapy and its Role in Posture and Balance

The eyes are a major aspect in everyday life that can play a role in just seeing and taking something in. For the general population, the eyes play a major role in reading, seeing, and for every day functions. However, there is growing evidence that vision may play a role in how the musculoskeletal system works with the mind, especially with performance training.

What is the Relationship between Eyes and Body Motion?

The eyes play a role in movement and most individuals may not even notice. The relationship is such that if the eyes are directed or have a tilt in one direction, then the body will need to adjust in a manner to correct this. Similarly, if the eyes do not converge correctly, or have some visual issue, then the body needs to correct for this in order to maintain proper movement and ambulation. How exactly can this be applied to motion, especially in the setting of fitness and athletics?

Vision and Motion with Runners

Athletes, especially runners, rely a great deal on vision for effective movement. Many runners have imbalances in gait patterns, which often lead to specialized orthotics as well as devices to allow the runner to regain proper mechanics. However, given the evidence of vision and its effect on motion, it is reasonable to expect that a head tilt, body tilt, or even vision training can help to correct for this imbalance, without even setting foot in an orthotics store.

Vision and Posture

Whenever the eyes have a disorder, poor convergence, or whenever they are tilted, it is reasonable to expect that the body will adjust to compensate for this deficiency. One way in which the body compensates for visual issues is to tilt the head, rotate the chin, or even adjust how the body moves in order to fully allow motion that works. Often, the athlete or patient will not even notice that this happens, thus making it an unconscious effort by the mind.

How Can Vision Issues Be Corrected?

While vision issues can be a cause of movement dysfunction, it is fortunate that training can be applied to help correct for this. Listed below are some ways that vision training can benefit movement.

  • Eye Positioning. One of the most important aspects in vision training is to help hold the eye position in a constant place. This in turn can help to adjust the head and body positioning. In some cases, changing the head and body position may help to change and train the eyes as well.
  • Visual Feedback. Training with the use of binocular vision tools using feedback mechanisms may help to train eye alignment, as a way to promote optimal balance in head and body tilting.
  • Body Positioning. While it is not a definite response, anytime the body is trained in a specific position, the eyes may adjust and naturally set back into a prime area. Resetting the eyes with the use of training may help to adjust any small miscues in mechanics, which could lead to improved performance, movement, and even posture as a result.

How to Get Training

Having the proper visual training can help to adjust the body, head, and possibly eye tilting and help to correct for body mechanics. While changes are not always guaranteed with training sessions, eye therapy should be a modality performed with a trained occupational therapist, as well as with other multi-disciplinary professionals such as eye and sports professionals. Helping the body to correct itself can aid in boosting sports mechanics as well as avoiding injuries due to repetitive motion.

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