I’m not sure what causes balance problems in those of us with fibromyalgia (FM), but it’s a definite problem for me. I have to be careful when bending to pick up something, and I have to be sure there’s a counter or piece of furniture nearby to hold onto. When I get up from a sitting or lying position, my balance is off and I have to be careful not to fall.
Let’s look at some potential reasons this could affect those of us with FM:
According to a study titled “Fibromyalgia is Associated with Impaired Balance and Falls,” there were 34 FM patients and 32 matching aged subjects who were administered the Balance Evaluation Systems Test (BESTest,) and had their balance confidence rated by the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC.) The number of falls in the previous six months were reported. In order to assess FM severity, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire was used (FIQ.) The fibromyalgia patients reported 37 falls, and the healthy subjects had only six during that six-month period of time.
It’s possible that the trigger points in our neck and shoulders send faulty information to our brains, affecting our center of balance. Even without feeling dizzy, our gait can feel off and the fear of falling is very real. I have to be especially careful on stairs. If I’m tired and I’ve been walking for 10 minutes or more, I notice that I start walking more unsteadily.
If you have balance issues the first thing you might want to do is to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physician. It’s possible that crystals in the inner ear have come loose and are affecting your balance. That has happened to me, but I continue to have balance issues regardless of having had that circumstance addressed.
When I sit up from a lying-down position, I wait a few seconds before standing. I don’t know what you have experienced, but there have been times when I was standing one minute and on the ground the next, having no idea how I fell. Because of FM, I find myself always holding onto door frames, counters, stair rails, leaning against walls, etc., to avoid falling.
Do you struggle with balance issues?
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.
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