What are balance and gait disorders?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a balance disorder is defined as anything that causes you to feel like you are spinning and can be caused by neurological or musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis or Parkinson’s disease.  Balance issues may also be caused by vertigo.

Signs and symptoms of balance problems include:

  • Confusion
  • Feeling A Floating Sensation or Dizziness
  • Feeling Faint or Light-Headed (Presyncope)
  • Loss of Balance or Unsteadiness
  • Sense of Motion or Spinning (Vertigo)
  • Vision Changes, Such as Blurriness

A gait disorder is characterized as a deviation from a normal walking pattern. A gait disorder can be caused by, but not limited to:

  • Aging
  • Biomechanical Abnormalities Such as Fallen Foot Arches or Leg Length Discrepancy
  • External Factors Such as Poor Footwear
  • Neurological Conditions Such as Multiple Sclerosis
  • Orthopedic Conditions Like Plantar Fasciitis or Arthritis

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough biomechanical assessment. This will include a comprehensive analysis of your posture and gait. Your balance, range of motion and strength of your lower extremity will also be assessed. If necessary, a vestibular assessment will also be included. This information will then be used to create a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs.

The treatment plan may include:


  • Balance Re-Training
  • Dry Needling
  • Education
  • Gait Re-Training
  • Kinesio Taping
  • Lower Extremity Manual Therapy, Eg. Trigger Point Release, Massage
  • Strengthening
  • Stretching
  • Vestibular Manual Therapy
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation