Balance Problems

I’ve been seeing a neurologist regarding recent episodes of balance problems. The situations were similar in that I suddenly felt like I was leaning uncontrollably to the right and fell. No dizziness, more like a sudden weakness, pulling sensation.

When first I saw the neurologist, he didn’t see anything obvious until I mentioned I would also feel faint during a deep coughing fit. Further exam found a significant drop in blood pressure when I’d turn my head in one direction with the arm over my opposite shoulder. Scans found the carotid arteries in my neck a little more constricted than normal, no abnormalities in the brain. Apparently, the condition is not unusual.

What interested me about a possible relationship between tremors, a loss of balance, and the diagnosis on me is:

  • My son is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo and one of the more serious submission holds taught to law enforcement and military involves squeezing each side of the neck along the carotid artery. Properly positioned, it can bring unconsciousness in only a few seconds and death very quickly thereafter. Much faster than a typical loss of blood flow. Apparently, a major nerve pathway also runs along the same line.
  • Since my exam and scans, I’ve had a sudden loss of balance walking up the stairs accompanied by my feet becoming uncoordinated / tangled so I was unable to recover in time. Very unexpected.
  • My tremor and memory seems a bit worse this past year.
  • Researching online, I found that Vasovagal Syncope can also be brought on by stress (tremor psychology?) resulting in a chemical imbalance in the body between adrenaline (higher heart rate) and acetylcholine (lower rate).
  • Carotid Sinus Hypersensitivity (from turning the head) has apparently been observed to also include leg jerks in some people.
  • Nerve impulse can cause the muscles along the carotid artery to constrict.

My wonder is whether tremors could be influenced / affected by constrictions along the carotid arterial / neural pathway. Either as a cause or through reaction feedback.

Thoughts on Balance from Bruce Edwards, Support Group Member