What exactly is Balance Deficits/Gait Abnormality?
Gait abnormality is defined as any unusual problem with walking. These conditions are generally occur due to a physical condition or a condition related to our vestibular-cochlear system(which controls balance during stance, walking and is also related to hearing).

What are conditions I may have that would lead to Balance Deficits/Gait Abnormalities?

Vestibular signs and symptoms are related to the inner ear whose main function is responsible for maintaining balance.
Central Nervous System disorders diagnosed by physicians such as Multiple Sclerosis(MS), Muscular Dystrophy(MD), myositis, and Parkinson’s Disease

Skeletal disorders which may include arthritis of the spine, hip, knee, and foot/ankle

What are warning signs that I may be developing Balance deficits and gait abnormality?
Although initially we may not notice a problem, many times it could present as stooped walking, rigid posture, possible forward lean of head/neck/shoulders/hips, knees brushing against one another as you walk, complaint of catching toes while crossing a threshold of door or catching toes while walking on carpeting.

What can I do if I experience any of the above concerns?

By consulting a Licensed Physical Therapist they are able to provide a comprehensive balance and gait assessment using specialized balance tests.

Physical Therapy will offer an individualized program to relieve the symptoms you are experiencing through stretching and strengthening of musculoskeletal deficits causing the balance and gait abnormalities.
Physical Therapy will also provide education and specialized programs to improve the deficits of balance.

What are treatments that I can expect at physical therapy?

Manual Therapy Techniques
Strengthening and stretching activities specific to the area of body causing the deficit
Neuromuscular Re-Education Techniques which will not only focus on the strengthening aspect but will also incorporate activities that will target the vestibular system(which is responsible for our ability to maintain balance with our eyes open and also when closed)
Postural Education
Comprehensive Home Exercise Program so that patients can begin to manage their conditions by activities at home

What type of Balance and Gait abnormalities are treated by physical therapists?
BPPV(Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
Multiple Sclerosis
Cerebral Palsy
Spinal Cord Injury
Parkinson’s Disease
Degenerative Muscle diseases such as Muscular Dystrophy