Gait And Balance Disorder

Shift Wellness

Integrative Physical therapy located in Union Square, New York, NY

Gait and balance disorders are a common problem in older adults. Either problem alone leads to falls, but the two conditions often go hand-in-hand, putting you at risk of frequently falling. The compassionate team at Shift Wellness in the Union Square area of Manhattan has helped many older adults retrain their bodies to overcome gait and balance disorders. You can regain a more active lifestyle with balance therapy and gait training. To learn more about the program, call the New York City office, or book an appointment online.

Gait & Balance Disorder Q & A

What causes a gait disorder?

Changes in the way you walk often arise as the result of:

Neurological disorders

Neurological disorders are one of the most common causes of gait disorders. A few examples include Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Spinal conditions that compress the nerves also increase your risk of gait problems.

Musculoskeletal disorders

Arthritis, muscle weakness, spinal stenosis, and osteoporosis are a few of the musculoskeletal problems that can lead to gait abnormalities.


Age isn’t a primary cause of gait disorders. However, getting older increases your risk of developing a health condition that contributes to gait problems. A change in gait may be the early sign of an underlying health problem.

What causes balance disorders?

A balance disorder is any condition that makes you feel dizzy or unsteady. Balance disorders are a special concern because they often appear suddenly and increase your risk of falls.

Your balance depends on three body systems working together: 

  • Vestibular system (inner ear)
  • Visual system
  • Somatosensory system

The somatosensory system consists of sensors in your muscles, joints, and skin that convey information to your brain about your movement.

When a problem occurs in any of these systems, you develop a balance disorder. Some of the most common causes include inner ear infections, a concussion, low blood pressure, visual problems, and conditions affecting your musculoskeletal system such as arthritis.

What treatment might I receive for gait and balance disorders?

The team at Shift Wellness works with many older patients who need help with gait and balance problems. They offer balance therapy, also called vestibular rehabilitation, and gait therapy, to help you prevent frequent falls and live a more active life.

Balance therapy

Your body can compensate for balance problems, but it needs to learn how to do that. The team at Shift Wellness uses many different exercises and techniques to train your body how to overcome specific balance deficits. With balance training, you can lower your risk of falling and regain confidence in your ability to navigate throughout the day.

Gait therapy

An individualized physical therapy program can improve your gait with exercises to increase your strength, endurance, and range of motion. Functional rehabilitation targets specific problems with your gait, such as retraining your leg muscles and improving your posture.

Don’t let gait and balance disorders interfere with your life, call Shift Wellness, or book an appointment online today.