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What Causes a Balance Disorder (And What Can I Do About It)?

What Causes a Balance Disorder (And What Can I Do About It)?

Dizziness, weakness, and vertigo are all signs of a balance disorder and a major cause of falls, which lead to injuries. Plus, they’re more common than you might think. Balance disorders are one of the most common reasons why elderly adults visit their physicians for medical care. 

If you develop symptoms of a balance disorder, you might be wondering why you’re feeling so unsteady. Overall, your balance and gait involve your eyes, ears, brain, muscles, and nerves, and the problem could originate in any one of those organs.

Here at our comfortable Crom Rehabilitation offices in Houston and Pearland, Texas, physical therapists Roy Rivera, Jr., DPT, PhD, and Jordan Boyd, DPT, specialize in treating balance disorders and can coach you through ways to manage them outside the office. 

Here’s what might’ve led to your balance disorder and the next steps you should take:

Common causes of balance disorders

The dizziness, queasiness, and other symptoms that come with balance disorders are more than an inconvenience. They make it hard and even dangerous to get from point A to point B and leave you prone to tripping and falling down. For many, especially older adults, this increases the risk of broken bones, joint dislocations, and other injuries that are painful and slow to heal. 

Balance disorders leading to these symptoms can originate in the:

Inner ear

Inside your ear is a part of the organ that specifically helps control your balance called the vestibular system. This system is a maze-like structure made of soft tissue and bone, with semicircular canals and ducts filled with fluid. The positioning of the fluid helps you maintain balance and stability while moving or standing still. When the vestibular system becomes inflamed, infected, or otherwise out-of-order, balance disorders are often the result. 

Circulatory system

Several circulatory system conditions can lead to or contribute to balance disorders. For example, low blood pressure can cause you to feel dizzy or lose balance, and so can a stroke. 


Head injuries, stroke, and other conditions affecting the brain can influence your ability to maintain balance. Medications can also influence the brain in ways that cause balance problems. 

Other possible originating areas for balance disorders are the eyes, nerves, and joints. 

What you can do

A crucial part of finding out how to manage a balance disorder is finding out what’s causing the disorder in the first place. Often, the primary treatment for balance disorders is actually treating the underlying condition causing the balance problems. For example, you might need to take antiviral medications or antibiotics to treat an infection affecting the vestibular system.

As far as home care for balance disorders goes, there aren’t many steps you can take to treat the complication. However, you can make life easier with a balance disorder by keeping your home clean and clear of obstructions, keeping your home well lit, or using a cane or walker to assist you as you move around. 

Treating your balance disorder

Plenty of treatment options are available to help you manage a balance disorder specifically, and the Crom Rehabilitation therapists are prepared to create an individualized plan for you. Schedule your appointment for aquatic therapy, physical therapy, and other balance disorder treatments by calling the nearest office today. 

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