Recent Blog Articles
Period equity: What is it, why does it matter?
Pandemic challenges may affect babies — possibly in long-lasting ways
4 immune-boosting strategies that count right now
If you have knee pain, telehealth may help
How to address opposition in young children
New study investigates treatment-associated regrets in prostate cancer
Minimizing successes and magnifying failures? Change your distorted thinking
Are poinsettias, mistletoe, or holly plants dangerous?
Waiting for motivation to strike? Try rethinking that
Thinking of trying Dry January? Steps for success
Balance is the ability to distribute your weight in a way that lets you stand or move without falling, or recover if you trip. Good balance requires the coordination of several parts of the body: the central nervous system, inner ear, eyes, muscles, bones, and joints. Problems with any one of these can affect balance. Medical conditions can also affect balance. These include:
stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and other disorders of the central nervous system
Meniere's disease and other conditions that originate in the inner ear, which can cause vertigo and dizziness
cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, which distort vision
weakness in major muscles, particularly the thighs, abdomen, and back
nerve damage in the legs and feet (peripheral neuropathy) can affect the ability to sense the ground you're standing or walking on.
Other things can also influence balance, including:
medications, including antidepressants, drugs for anxiety, pain medication, sleeping pills, antihistamines, and some heart and blood pressure medications.
alcohol, which slows reaction time and affects judgment and coordination
A medical exam can identify conditions that may impair balance, and identify drugs that may have side effects that cause lightheadedness.
Improving muscle strength in the legs and the core can improve balance. So can exercises like Tai chi that increase flexibility.
Gentle exercises for older, frail people
Exercise & Fitness
Band together for stronger legs
Medications that increase your risk of falling
Want a stronger core? Skip the sit-ups
Strength training builds more than muscles
Exercise & Fitness
Balance training seems to prevent falls, injuries in seniors
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!