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Author: Richard Symister

10 Steps to Fixing Knee Pain on Stairs: Step #8: Poor Balance

Here are 4 reasons you may be losing your balance on stairs!

  1. Poor positional sense: It happens, maybe after an accident, injury, or being sedentary, but you’ve lost your proprioception. Proprioception is the perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body  With proprioception loss, you may simply need a solid training roadmap, outlining a progressive balance training program, based on your deficits. The goal here is to establish normal dynamic balance, and symmetry between both legs.
  2. Your vestibular system is wonky. Our vestibular system is our inner ear apparatus that that is responsible for providing our brain with information about motion, head position, and spatial orientation.  It allows us to keep our balance, stabilize our head and body during movement, and maintain posture. Problems with your vestibular system can range from vertigo, nausea, and vomiting, intolerance to head motion, spontaneous nystagmus, unsteady gait, and postural instability Once a vestibular system dysfunction is confirmed (testing how well the vestibular portion of your inner ear system is working), the vestibular system is trained with positional change excises. The goal here is to decrease as much of your vertigo, nausea, and dizziness as possible.
  3. Your joints need lotion.  If your ankle joint is stuck, or your ankle muscles lack flexibility, it may be difficult to get that foot flat on the floor or step, keeping you off balance. The right practitioner will be able to tell whether it’s a joint or muscle, and prescribe the right training roadmap for increased ankle mobility, specifically towards flexion.
  4. Check your peepers. Don’t be so concerned if your vision has changed. Be more concerned if it has changed, and you haven’t had the issue addressed or treated. Changes in your vision may mean changes in your depth perception, your ability to see objects in three dimensions, and judge how far away people or objects are from you. This could mean misjudging the height or position of steps, tripping, and altering your normal movements. It’s a really good idea to get your eyes checked at least annually. When you get your annual physical, ask your doctor for a general eye chart exam.
  5. Fear-avoidance. Your fear of falling is real. Anxiety, post-trauma stress disorder, depression, current injury, and instability, can all lead to fear-avoidance or having a psychological aversion to a specific movement or activity.  Often, even just thinking about climbing stairs can make some break out into a cold sweat. This is where a little sports psychology comes in, and asking the right questions and providing the right psych questionnaires can help paint a better picture of the client’s psychological readiness to use stairs with composure, confidence, and competence.

🧐 Try this: Seek out a professional who understands balance dysfunctions. 

Admitting that you have a balance issue is the first step to treatment. The next is finding the right Physical Therapist who understands the 4 main causes of balance issues. Nailing the correct diagnosis (proprioception, vestibular, mobility, fear) is crucial to providing the most efficient and effective training roadmap

Losing your balance? Get stability HERE.

Heal. Move. BALANCE. Evolve

Sign up for our free workshop: 10 Steps to Fixing Knee Pain on Stairs! Want more info click HERE.
Your next step! Read Step #9: Get HIP HERE!