Balance problems when walking - acute onset

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hey everyone,

33 years old , Male

I would be incredibly grateful if anyone could help or point me in the right direction.

I've now suffered from balance problems when walking for 2 months and seems to be getting worse.

It feels like I am walking on a trampoline and the ground moves and jumps up and down when I take a step. No vertigo or dizzyness when I sit still.

It came on suddenly 2 months ago. The only things that happened I can remember before that:

- 5 days before I got pain in the back of my head, like a sore spot to press on

- 3 days before I felt ill, like I was coming down with a cold but no symptoms. Next day I woke up and felt incredibly fatigued and tired. The tiredness has persisted, but not as bad.

- 1 day before, I had a lot of neck pain and upper back pain, this is likely because of my herniated disc at C5/C6, which also gives arm pain. Diagnosed by MR.

I had something very similar to this 1.5 years ago, where it lasted 1 month, but I hit my head hard before that.

I had a bunch of tests done. CSF mainly normal, a few white cells, no protein. No neurosyphilis or HIV.  Mostly normal blood tests I think. Brain MRI showed no stroke, bleading, tumor, but 30 or so white spots, which I knew were there several years ago. Doc thought it might be from birth, but should rule out vasculitis (unlikely).

Not any major weakness, my legs do feel heavy and tired. Feel overall weak, but no objective major weakness.

I also have a lot of other symptoms:

- Chronic headache (3 years)

- Back pain and right pectoral muscle pain (for a long time)

- Very tired

- Buzzing in feet, most in left, sometimes painful pinches in calfs (had this for maybe 2-3)

Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated!

Thank you,


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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Eric, i also have a bulging neck disc and pain in neck and shoulder.  I have BPPV/MAV (Migraine associated vertigo) but also think my neck pain is related to episodes of blurred vision and balance problems also.   Think the bulging disc is possibly causing restricted blood supply on occasions. Try and get a referral to ENT because your description of walking on a trampoline is a good description of what it's like trying to walk when you have a balance problem.  It is very tiring and does leave you feeling exhausted.  Hope you get some help.  Anne.
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    • Posted

      Hi Anne,

      I also feel like my neck could be restricting blood supply, because I also sometimes get that feeling and occasionally some 'pulse tinititus' where you can hear a wooshing sound.

      Any news from you?

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  • Posted

    Hi Anne,

    Could you explain how your balance problems are?

    I thought the ear problems would also give issues when sitting or lying down? Mine is only walking, not even standing still.

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    • Posted

      Hi Eric,  any movement can create a feeling of imbalance but most noticeably when i walk i tilt over to one side and feel as though my legs are made of sponge.  I have the problem in my left ear which may cause the tilt to the right side when i am recovering from a bout of BPPV.  I also have visual disturbance where i can't quite focus my eyes occasionally.  I also have tinnitus and partial deafness in my left ear caused by a head injury 19 years ago which ENT say could be the cause of my current imbalance and i've never noticed it until it got this bad.   You might have another condition going on that is why it is best to be seen by ENT who will check if you have a vesitbular disorder.  For myself i think i have more than one cause of my balance problems but it's like finding a needle in a haystack to pinpoint it down to any one particular issue.  I also have top shelf vertigo so when i look upwards and in particular raise my arms to lift something from a top cupboard it particularly affects me.   I have rarely also experienced a dizzy feeling when sitting completely still.  If you are only experiencing it whilst walking you still need to get it checked out if it is getting worse.  I also had a sharp pain shoot up the back of my head once whilst i was brushing my hair.  Hope you get some answers but do get it checked out, despite all the  tests you have had done, this is a new symptom for you.
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  • Posted

    Hi Eric,

    It's all well and good getting diagnosed, but if they can't cure it, where does that leave us? I have experienced several of the things you have mentioned but the medics seem clueless. I am taking betahistine, it is helping the dizziness, but not curing it.

    It would be interesting to hear your results, so please keep in touch

    Best wishes


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    • Posted

      I also took betahistimine which made no difference so good to know it does help some.  It does seem all you get is the diagnosis and some light relief with exercises.  No cure just respite during times of recovery.
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  • Posted

    Just want to update. No solution yet, but some clues:

    - Using Croc shoes makes my balance MUCH less obvious. It is really strange, but maybe not. Croc shoes have really wide and thick rubbery soles. Either its the extra wider sole, or the softer sole, but it clearly helps. Without it I feel like my legs are somewhat shaky and knees, joints, hip, back hurt.

    - I get results from lumbar back pain tomorrow. Had A LOT of pain, on touching and bending over (couldn't). Could be disc prolapse or something else. May or may not be related, back doctor didn't think so.

    - Lack of sleep makes it significantly worse, problem is I can't seem to get good sleep. I wake up feeling exhausted. This began at the exact same time as my balance problems. Feeling incredibly tired and unable to sleep well.

    Any thoughts?

    I will keep you updated, who knows it might help.

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  • Posted

    Hello Eric,

    What are these Croc shoes? they sound quite good. Where do you get them from? I am in the UK 


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  • Posted

    Hello everyone,

    An update here for anyone stumbling from Google or having the same symptoms, please share your experiences if so.

    Since last time I have had:

    A nerve conduction study (normal), but not an EMG.

    Lyme test (IGG positive, IGM negative)

    Due tomorrow for arterie ultrasound, later in month CT of blood vessels and arteries in brain.


    Still wobbly feeling, less now, but in periods bad, ground moving.

    Involuntary jerks of hands, ankles, legs.

    Still very tired, still lots of pain in knees, shoulders.

    Don't know what to make of it, all kinds of thoughts, could it be cancer etc, some bad neurological condition.

    Unfortunately still no good news.

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    • Posted

      Ericdk, i know it's been a couple years but im 38 in the US with those same symptoms. Mine come and go they thought it was a heart arrhythmia. I can go months with nothing and boom im done for days. Fatigue and all comes with it. Then they said nope hearts fine. Did bp and blood test ekg and chest xray as well and all were normal so it's chopped up to anxiety. Granted i suffered from a torn aorta 2 years ago and my health scares me sometimes but seriously vertigo only when i walk?

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