Fibromyalgia and your Balance

Do any of you have balance problems? I have had Fibro for about 30 years, but my balance has been

really off the past 2 years. If I walk down a hallway or a sidewalk, and I am looking down, I weave all

over the place. If I look straight ahead as I am walking, I seem to do fairly well in walking a straight

line. My feet seem to have a mind of it's own! LOL I can just be standing and maybe I will turn a little

to the left - and down I go. When I am walking in public - alone, I am very self-conscious about the

way I walk. If I am with someone, I need to hold on to his/her arm so I don't weave. I've seen a doctor

about this (neurologist) and he couldn't find anything other than the fact that I do have Fibro and other

problems associated with it. This past year I have gotten more bruises than ever before, because I keep

bumping into things including the walls. Most bruises are on my thighs and knees. I had a really bad

fall about 2 months ago. Again I just turned to reach for something on my kitchen sink and down I

went....really hard. I landed on my left hip (where I have Fibro) and then got thrown backwards and I

hit the wall pretty hard with my head. Everything checked out okay - but this particular fall really scared

me. I have to tell you though, when I do lose my balance, there is no dizziness involved. However I do

have vertigo. I have had it for about 17 years. But each time I have lost my balance or fallen, I haven't

had any dizziness before or after. Laurie

Hi Laurie,
Yes, I do the same as you. I was sent to an ENT a few months ago and he diagnosed me with Central Disequilibrium and recommended Vestibular Therapy. He could not tell me what caused the CE, said my other docs needed to figure that out. Anyway, due to another medical issue and some surgery, I did not go to the appointment. Soon After I recovered from surgery enough to be able to do some physical activity, I saw a new rheumy and she encouraged me to start yoga for 45 minutes a day 6-7 days a week. Seriously? I can barely walk around my house some days. Anyway, I decided to give it a try so I could say that I did and I now do some form of yoga every day, even if it is just the light stretching in the morning (which helps my morning stiffness also), and I have noticed a difference in my balance. I hardly ever walk into walls anymore but I still have to look straight ahead when walking or I go crooked. When I go to the grocery store, I always get a cart because that makes me feel a bit better supported and in balance. I could probably do without that now but it ain’t hurting me so why not keep on. I still get vertigo and sometimes it comes on me in a big wave when I least expect it, even when I am lying down. Does that happen to you? Anyway, I hope you get some answers. Good luck.

Hi MBP-P - Thanks for responding! Yes, there have been many times when I am just laying down or relaxing and

the vertigo comes on strong! I can't stand the constant noise in my ear either. Also like you - I grab a grocery

cart just to keep my balance when going around the store....even if it's just 2 or 3 items I need! I am happy to know

I am not the only one who does this! This year will hopefully be a good one for me as I am approaching the Fibro

aggressively now and I won't quit till I get the answers I need! I certainly don't want to plan on living like this as I

have been. We all deserve better, don't we? Laurie

Hi Laurie,

I'm sorry that your balance issues have ended up with some pretty extreme falls. Wow, you're fortunate that the one fall didn't seriously harm you. Have you considered carrying a cane? I have one that is adorable - has pretty butterflies all over it, so it looks like a work of art. Meanwhile, I can lean on it when I have a bout of vertigo. Or when I'm fatigued. It's really helped me out on several occasions.

In answer to your question, yeah, my balance has gotten worse since fibro, although it's never been great. But I find myself dizzy or with vertigo. Or suddenly very tired. I take a lot of falls and near falls. That's why I carry that cane.

Is it possible that the meds you are on are affecting your balance? I know that mine got worse when I started using Lyrica.

Hope this is helpful to you. At least you know, you're not the only one with the fallsies.

Hi, Laurie, Yep, I have balance problems, too. Most of the time I can catch myself before I fall (knock on wood). Sometimes I just pump into things while other times, I feel dizzy like the room is spinning around. During those instances, it's worse if I lay down. Usually, it won't last that long, anywhere from 3 hours to 5 then disappears as mysteriously as it came. I have never seen a Neurologist because of it because my Rheumatologist said it can be caused by the fibro. But, of course, he did recommend I see one just to rule out something more serious. That happens only rarely. Most of the time, it's just more of a clummsiness, like rounding a corner and not allowing enough space to clear it so BAM!

Hi Petunia Girl! Thanks for responding. To be honest, my friends and my own doctor have been after me to get a cane. I think I will have to soon, as moving around is becoming perilous for me now. I got my Vertigo years ago and come to think of it, it actually started around the time I got the Fibro. Through the years, I have had some terrible bouts of Vertigo. Sometimes it would get so bad.I would have to lay down for days on end. The dizziness goes back and forth for me. But when I am dizzy from the Vertigo, there is a little bit of spinning going on. Horrible!! Have you noticed at all that when you have the Vertigo, your hearing is amplified?? It's the weirdest sensation for me. I could swear I heard a pin drop hundreds of miles away! LOL If I am stressed and/or very tired, my Vertigo will set in. My body is telling me I need to rest, but I don't always listen. Hugs! Laurie

Hi 77! Like you, most of the time I can catch myself. But I am sure there will be a time again where there

won't be anything to grab onto and down I will go! So far, I haven't made a fool of myself in falling down in public yet. I was referred 2 years ago to a wonderful Neurologist, as not only was I tripping and almost falling, but I

also had terrible Migraines. I have had 3 brain scans in the last 4 years and so far, everything is fine. So the doctor told me it might be attributed to my Fibro. I wasn't really surprised, because it seems that everything that is going on with me goes right back to the Fibro. I bump into things too. It can be quite comical sometimes, with my arms flailing about and trying to regain my balance! LOL I was in my 30's when first diagnosed with Fibro. Not too much was known about it then. It was just coming out into the open. It started

with my hips and from there to right now, it's everywhere. I have so many trigger points, it's ridiculous! I do have a horrible fear of falling though - especially on my hips. Where I live, there is lots of snow and when the snow becomes slick, I am ever so careful!!! I always have bruises on my thighs and/or knees. I also just simply trip over my own two feet. I feel very clumsy sometimes when this happens. But it's something I can't help. Try to have a peaceful night (meaning, no pain!) Laurie


Yes, I have balance November I fell 4 times..once down a flight of stairs...walked away with bruises...I asked my doctor..he checked my gait and sure enough I have one weak foot that gradually turns in as I walk..making my trip...then of course it was my Migraine medication making me too dizzy and was scary..until I asked my doctor..and he solved the problem and put my mind at never fell once in December. Jeez..your falling sounds bad..maybe double check the medications you are on..when you see your doc next...I know what its like to be standing and all of a sudden your laying on the ground...dangerous...this damn Fibro. I get afraid to walk in public as well. Best of luck...I hope its nothing...please keep me updated..thanks. Jesse oxo

Hi Jesse - Thanks for responding to my discussion segment. I did have a bad fall about 4 months ago, in

the kitchen. What made it so weird is, that I was standing by the kitchen sink and all I did was reach to the left to get something and somehow (can't figure this out!) my feet got tangled up and down I went. I landed on my

left hip and then got thrown back and the back of my head hit the wall. I had a beautiful , huge bruise on my

hip, elbows and a good size lump on my head. I made a doctor visit and let her know what had happened and

I checked out okay. But I had a bad headache for a little while. I am scheduled to see a new Rheumotologist

soon and I am told she is highly recommended. I have so many new ailments cropping up that I am sure is related to my FIbro. My ailments aren't life - threatening, but just little things that I am becoming aware of.

I do have chronic Vertigo as well, so this certainly doesn't help me in regards to trying to walk a straight line!

The Vertigo started around the same time I was diagnosed with Fibro which was 30 years ago. Fibro is one of the most mind boggling diseases I have ever encountered, There are so many things associated with it and we all have to deal with them one by one. My gait isn't too good either and I, too, have one weak foot. Sometimes I will be walking around my house and the foot will simply just turn inward or sometimes outward, like you are stepping off a curb? Ouch!! There is never a dull moment for us with FIbro, is there?? LOL I see my regular doctor on the 11th and from there, she will refer me to the Rheumotoligst. I am very anxious to know all that is going on with me. Laurie

Laurie, don’t ever stop fighting this. Fibro is not fatal but what can be fatal is giving up and giving in. I am determined to live life to the fullest- and I have accepted, for the most part, that my fullest is never going to be what it was. Try yoga- I was very skeptical but got a beginners DVD and tried it and I love it, especially the relaxation and meditation part. I have a lot of stress, as I am sure you do, and some extra stress at the moment, and it really helps me to just blank out for a while. Kudos to you for being aggressive. Fight on! Hugs, MB

Oh yeah, the roaring in the ears is horrible. No one has been able to give me an answer about this. And my hearing is extra amplified. It is enough to make you crazy!

i am always off balance. i almost went over teh side of the staircase once at my father in laws house!