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Balance & Gait Disorders

  • Kathleen W.

    Before I received therapy I was unable to stand more than 5 minutes. Now I can stand for 10-15 min without any pain. I was unable to carry baskets of laundry due to low back pain. I am more balanced when I walk now and I can walk greater distances.

  • Kathleen K.

    In the beginning I could not stand on one foot! Unbelievable. The problem no longer exists thanks to the fantastic group here. Coming for therapy is like attending a family reunion and it has been a joy.

  • Charles P.

    Before therapy I had trouble walking and standing. Now I have no pain with any activity!

  • Michael S.

    When starting therapy I was having a bit of trouble with balance and falling down. I had even fallen out of bed (scary). After starting at MDM and meeting the GREAT people there, my balance started getting better. Everyone was super encouraging.

  • Emma D.

    I had trouble walking and stepping up on curbs. I felt I might fall over and I walked with my back pulled back. I now can walk with my back straight and step up in balance and not feel like I am going to fall over.

  • Bradley T.

    Very cooperative and I have seen a big improvement in my balance. Would recommend for improvement to any patient!

  • Sharon W.

    In my first session, my back was correctly aligned and the pain was reduced. In subsequent sessions, I learned to strengthen my back eliminating pain. Thanks to the entire MDM staff for their professionalism, cautions, and caring treatment.

  • John F.

    My time here has been great. When I first got here I was falling, had trouble walking, standing and eating. I now feel 100% better and am able to do things better than before.

  • Brad D.

    When I started I had trouble walking and mobility issues. In the following months, the staff slowly but surely helped restore the strength and flexibility in my leg. All the staff were super helpful and mindful of my issues that arose.

  • Richard D.

    My experience has been very good. I am now back to walking much better than when I started therapy. My right arm is now able to do all of the activities that I was doing before I broke it

Get Back on Your Feet Today with Our Balance and Gait Treatment Programs

There are many reasons why balance and gait disorders may occur, including underlying neurological or musculoskeletal disorders.

Do you ever feel unsteady, as if you may fall over without warning? Does the pain in your joints make it difficult for you to move around? Do you experience spinning sensations, even when you are sitting or standing still? If so, you may have a balance or gait disorder. These disorders can affect both your physical and mental wellbeing, and they can be quite debilitating.

Fortunately, MDM Physical Therapy can relieve these disorders so you can get back to living your life on your own terms! To learn more about treating your balance and gait disorders with physical therapy, schedule your consultation today!

How our balance and gait programs can help you

When you arrive at our Mesa, AZ physical therapy office, you will undergo an initial evaluation to examine your balance, gait, stance, symptoms, and medical history. Once this is complete, one of our dedicated physical therapists will design an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs, in order to treat your balance or gait disorder. This may include:

Gait retraining exercises

In a study cited by the Arthritis Foundation, patients suffering from osteoarthritis-related gait disorders were able to successfully alter their gait through treadmill exercises. Sometimes, abnormalities in gait can be effectively corrected simply through “retraining.” If this is the case, our physical therapist will walk you through proper posture, stance, and walking techniques.

Pelvic alignment correction

At MDM, we have discovered that an incorrect alignment of the body is typically the cause of many balance and gait problems. Unfortunately, these issues are frequently overlooked. Through gentle manual therapy, easy stretches and simple exercises, our therapists can correct these underlying causes.

Vestibular rehabilitation

If you are suffering from BPPV, our physical therapist will provide you with specific exercises that will return the calcium debris to the correct parts of your ear. Vestibular rehabilitation is a balance-and-gait-specific type of rehab that works to improve your nerves, muscles, vision, and the vestibular system as a whole, in order to maintain a steady balance.

Strengthening exercises

Your evaluation will help determine any problem areas in your body that may need strengthening. Our physical therapist will provide you with exercises that will build up your muscles, thus making it much easier for you to move around and reduce your risk of injury.


Targeted stretches will give you more control and quicker reactions with your movements, in addition to reducing your risk of injury. They are an important part of a treatment plan that will help improve your flexibility and your range of motion. They will also help in keeping your muscles from becoming too tight and stiff.

What’s causing my balance or gait disorder?

There are several reasons why you may develop a balance or gait disorder. It is common for balance disorders to develop from an issue with the vestibular system, which is a delicate collection of fluid-filled chambers and sensory nerves located in the inner ear.

Your vestibular system helps manage your “proprioception,” or sense of position, and when this is altered, it can be difficult to keep yourself steady. Some common vestibular conditions that can lead to balance disorders include:

Injury or ailment

Even if your brain and nervous system are working in harmony with one another, a sudden injury, disease, or other ailments resulting in muscle weakness can interfere with your balance and make it difficult to keep yourself upright.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV develops when calcium debris breaks off in the inner ear, resulting in issues with your balance.

Pelvic Alignment Issues

An incorrect alignment of the body can often cause gait and balance problems. Unfortunately, these issues are frequently overlooked.

Neurological issues

Neurological issues can throw you off balance. Some common conditions include brain injuries, stroke, or Parkinson’s disease, to name a few. Essentially, anything that impacts your neurological system can impact your ability to balance yourself.

The origin of a gait disorder may not be as simple to diagnose, as there are even more conditions that can result in a gait disorder. Any condition that impairs your muscle or nerve functions can cause you to walk in an abnormal manner. Because of this, gait disorders can also develop from the symptoms of neurological or neuromuscular issues, much like balance disorders.

However, it is also common for gait disorders to develop from underlying musculoskeletal disorders. Just a few of the many conditions that may lead to a gait disorder include overuse injuries, abnormal foot arches, plantar fasciitis, a previous lower extremity injury that healed improperly, or uneven muscle support that causes you to favor one side of your body more than the other.

So, what exactly are balance and gait disorders?

Balance and gait disorders both fall under the category of functional disorders since they can interfere with your positional awareness, your ability to keep yourself upright, and your overall normal movement functions.

Balance and gait disorders, while similar, have some specific differences. Anything that causes you to feel unsteady or like you’re “spinning” can be defined as a balance disorder. This can increase your risk of falling because you may feel as if you may fall at any given moment. A balance disorder impacts both your physical and mental functionality, because your brain may believe you are moving even when you are not.

Gait disorders are a bit different from balance disorders. While they can still affect your balance, it has less to do with your mental functionality and everything to do with your physical functionality. Gait disorders are caused by abnormal movements with the ways in which you walk, which may become gradually more exaggerated as you get older. According to Move Forward Physical Therapy, gait disorders account for  17 percent of senior falls, as symptoms of a gait disorder seem to worsen with age.

Reclaim your life today

If you have been living with a balance or gait disorder, Contact Us Today at Mesa, AZ Center! Don’t let the spins knock you down – get back on your feet with MDM Physical Therapy!