Balance

Balance problems are common for people with MS, but the causes and effects can vary from person to person and from one day to the next. 

Problems can include vertigo – a feeling of dizziness where the world appears to be spinning, though not everyone experiences this. For some people, balance problems mean they are wobbly on their feet from time to time, or they find they need to move with more care than before to avoid losing balance.

Finding the best way to manage any balance problems will be an individual approach – there is no single solution for everyone. Many people do find effective ways to improve their balance and feel more confident getting around.

Keeping the body balanced involves many messages going to and from the brain. Even standing still, the body is constantly adjusting to the environment and making tiny changes. When MS causes damage to the brain or spinal cord, this can distort messages and cause balance problems. However, there can be other causes, quite separate from MS, and balance problems are common in the general population, too.

A whole range of health and social-care professionals can help, including physiotherapistsoccupational therapists, rehabilitation specialists, MS specialist nurses, and ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists.