Many people experience loss of balance while walking. This is more common among elderly age group, but it can also occur among young people. May be the cause is different. Everyone has different style of gait and hence the description of imbalance while walking can differ among individuals. When a person says he experiences imbalance while walking, there are many body systems that may be at fault.
Causes of Imbalance While Walking:
Imbalance while walking and an unsteady gait can be due to many reasons. As mentioned earlier, problems related with joints, nervous system, ear, nutrition, brain, spine, vision etc can lead to imbalance.
- Infection in the inner ear: The balance is controlled mainly by the vestibular system of the inner ear. Any problem in inner ear such as labyrinthitis, menier’s disease or infection in the middle ear can cause imbalance, dizziness and vertigo while walking.
- Neurological diseases: Person finds difficult to walk strait and always walks unsteadily in Parkinson’s disease. This neurological disease occurs in old people. Other nervous conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, injury to spinal cord, or brain injury can affect patient’s movement.
- Joints and muscles disease: Any problem in joints, leg bones or in muscles can lead to imbalance while walking. For example arthritis, both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in knee and ankle joint can affect the way a person walks. Bone injury and fracture of leg bones can also cause imbalance and pain while walking.
- Spine problems: Lumbar spondylosis, cervical spondylosis can cause imbalance while standing and walking.
- Poor vision: This mainly occurs in elderly individuals who suffer from poor vision as a result of degenerative disorder of retina or cataract. Person suffering from this eye conditions find difficulty to walk confidently because they have poor vision.
- Medications: Certain medications can cause drowsiness which can cause imbalance while walking. These medications include sedative group of drugs, anti-depressants, and anti-epileptic drugs.
- Alcohol intake: Lastly intake of too much of alcohol can lead to imbalance while walking. Although temporary till the effect of alcohol lasts, person has increased risk of fall and injury after drinking in excess.
Ways to Correct Imbalance Naturally While Walking:
Imbalance while walking is caused due to many reasons. Hence it is foremost important to detect the underlying cause. Various tests such as X-ray, blood tests and CT scan together with proper medical history and clinical examination will help to determine the cause. Treatment is focused on addressing the cause. For example medications may be needed to control imbalance if it is due to vertigo from inner ear problem. Certain conditions such as brain injury, cardiac problem, fracture of leg, etc need urgent treatment measures.
If any medicine is the cause for imbalance of body while walking or standing, it has to be stopped after consulting with the doctor. The physician in this case often prescribes alternative medicines which has less drowsiness. Managing imbalance can be easily managed naturally. For example patient having vertigo must avoid sudden change of posture while walking, standing and even lying down. Patient having poor vision as the cause must walk in areas having sufficient bright light. Patients suffering from peripheral neuritis must wear footwear that has good grip so that he can avoid falling. People having imbalance must use a walking stick or a walker for additional support.