What causes difficulty with balance and coordination and what should I do?

Symptom Database

Difficulty with balance and coordination can be a frustrating and challenging issue to deal with. It can affect people of all ages and can have a significant impact on daily activities and overall quality of life. In this article, we will explore the various causes of balance and coordination difficulties and discuss what can be done to address these issues.

What Causes Difficulty with Balance and Coordination?

There are several factors that can contribute to balance and coordination problems. Some of the common causes include:

  • Poor balance: Poor balance can be caused by weak muscles, inner ear problems, or certain medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
  • Lack of coordination: Lack of coordination can be a result of neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, or it can be due to muscle weakness or joint problems.
  • Balance and coordination issues: Some individuals may have inherent difficulties with balance and coordination due to genetic factors or developmental disorders.
  • Balance and coordination challenges: Aging can also contribute to balance and coordination challenges, as the body’s systems may not function as efficiently as they once did.
  • Balance and coordination impairment: Injuries, such as head trauma or damage to the spinal cord, can lead to balance and coordination impairment.
  • Balance and coordination limitations: Certain medications or substances, such as alcohol or drugs, can affect balance and coordination, leading to limitations in these areas.

What Should I Do?

If you are experiencing difficulty with balance and coordination, it is important to seek medical advice to determine the underlying cause. A healthcare professional can conduct a thorough evaluation and recommend appropriate treatment options. Here are some steps you can take:

Consult a Healthcare Professional

Make an appointment with your primary care physician or a specialist, such as a neurologist or physical therapist. They can assess your symptoms, perform necessary tests, and provide a diagnosis. Understanding the root cause of your balance and coordination difficulties is crucial in developing an effective treatment plan.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often recommended for individuals with balance and coordination issues. A physical therapist can design a personalized exercise program to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination. They may also incorporate specific balance exercises to enhance stability and reduce the risk of falls.

Medication and Medical Interventions

In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage underlying medical conditions that contribute to balance and coordination difficulties. Additionally, certain medical interventions, such as surgery or specialized treatments, may be necessary to address specific issues.

Assistive Devices

Depending on the severity of your balance and coordination problems, your healthcare provider may recommend the use of assistive devices. These can include canes, walkers, or braces, which provide additional support and stability during daily activities.

Home Modifications

Modifying your home environment can help reduce the risk of falls and improve overall safety. Simple changes, such as removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars in the bathroom, and improving lighting, can make a significant difference in maintaining balance and coordination.

Exercise and Lifestyle Changes

Engaging in regular exercise, such as yoga or tai chi, can improve balance, coordination, and overall strength. These activities focus on body awareness, flexibility, and controlled movements. Additionally, adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and adequate sleep, can support overall physical well-being.

Supportive Resources

Seeking support from others who are experiencing similar challenges can be beneficial. Joining support groups or participating in therapy sessions can provide emotional support, practical advice, and a sense of community.


Difficulty with balance and coordination can be caused by various factors, including poor balance, lack of coordination, underlying medical conditions, aging, injuries, and certain medications or substances. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Physical therapy, medication, assistive devices, home modifications, exercise, and lifestyle changes can all play a role in improving balance and coordination. Remember, with the right support and interventions, it is possible to manage and overcome these challenges, leading to a better quality of life.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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