Any exercises to improve walking on uneven surfaces? (for those with vestibular issues)

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Do you know any rehabitation exercises that improve your abilty to walk on uneven surfaces?  I figured a lot of you have had rehabilitation.  I have vestibular damage to my left ear, and have improved my coordination a lot; however, walking accross the lawn is tricky to me.  I have to go really slow, especially when there are depressions in the ground. I pretty much stomp into the depressions at full speed and risk falling.  Also, going up and down slopes on hiking trails are more trickier than they used to be.  Hiking is my only true escape from this condition, so this is very important to me.  Thanks!

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  • Posted

    Hi Kevin, my vestibular physio suggested walking on soft sand.  Believe me it's difficulty and even just a short walk can have me feeling dizzy, but it's worth it I think.  I don't go hiking but I do walk on grass rather than footpaths when I can, tread carefully of course.  Also walking backwards when you're in a safe place.  I do this in the swimming pool, shallow part of course but because the water is supportive you know you're not going to topple over and it's good for the balance too. Also standing on one leg and then the other, in the pool or out of it,  I try and incorporate the exercises into my daily exercise routine so I don't feel overburdened by having to do them.

    good luck. Christine

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    • Posted

      Thanks, now I just need to find some sand here in Ohio. One thing I came up with is to set a bunch of objects on the floor and walk across them without looking down. Sa!e concept as the sand I guess.
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  • Posted

    My balance has been destroyed in left ear due to VN 5 months ago. I haven't had rehabilition as such, just given a booklet with different exercises.

    I think you need to walk on uneven surfaces everyday, even though it is horrid. It should become easier in time. Like Christine, I walk on sand several days a week. I'm lucky to live by the sea so vary my beach walking to different types of sand - wet, dry (harder than wet) and sinky. Walk barefoot whenever you can,  and just push yourself as much as possible.

    Walking is very controlled and premeditated so when ready,  I recomend incorporating different ball sports into your daily routine that make you react/move spontaneously. I play catch whenever I can find a willing friend. Catch is great fun and gets you looking in all directions whilst moving your body. At first it was horrible, but I quite quickly saw an improvement although I can't go for every ball like i use to. Shooting basketball hoops is also good as you have to look up, which the hardest postion for me. 

    Have you tried a balance pad (they only cost about £7)? At first standing on it for a matter if seconds would fill my brain with pressure and make me feel really dizzy but the more you do things the quicker the brain works out what is happening. I also hula-hoop now and again and try to do this with my eyes closed! 

    My advice is to push yourself as much as possible, but listen to your body and rest whenever it feels too much.

    Good luck : ]

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  • Posted

    I read. Research paper on this condition and the interesting thing is that if you actually do some of these balance exercises with your eyes closed your recovery will hasten.  Hard at first but eventually your brain starts to compensate for the lack of vision.
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    • Posted

      That makes sense. I try to do other things with my eyes closed, such as walking and using the balance pad but its short lived. I think it gives me practise for when twilight arrives as lack of light brings pressure to the brain and slower movement. 
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