Balance problems are conditions that make you feel unsteady or dizzy.  If you are walking, you might suddenly feel as if you are tipping over or generally unsteady.

Many body systems — including your muscles, bones, joints, vision, the balance organ in the inner ear, nerves, heart and blood vessels — must work normally for you to have normal balance. When these systems aren't functioning well, you can experience balance problems.

Many medical conditions can cause balance problems. However, when you become more sedentary, sitting for hours during the day, the combination of weakening muscles and proprioceptor nerves in the feet, ankles and lower legs become less sensitive. Excessive sitting results from many causes including pain, excessive weight and medication used to treat diseases and conditions that can often cause drowsiness or a general slow down in activity level.

The muscles weakness and less sensitive nerves in the feet, ankles and lower legs often result in a shuffling gait. A suffling gait is evidenced when the foot is moving forward at the time of initial contact during midswing, with the foot either flat or at heel strike, usually accompanied by shortened steps, reduce arm swing and forward flexed posture. A suffling gait is often are result of balance problems with the shuffler shortening gait to feel more stable when walking.

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Ellsworth, ME 04605


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