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Off balance when bending down


Hi all. So is it normal to not be able to bend down or look down without having extreme dizziness or being totally off balance when looking up or standing back up? This is an all the time problem with me. Does anyone else experience this?


Very normal for me. I have become a champion squatter, no bending forward or down. Getting laundry from the washer, dryer, dropping things, etc are all a challenge.


Very very common. In fact this is probably the typical ‘vertigo’ symptom that non believers and people who have never even heard of MAV would recognise. The very ‘description’ most would offer if challenged to describe ‘vertigo’. It is an illusion of movement, vertigo, not a fear of heights despite what Alfred Hitchcock might have thought. It’s commonly known as Benign Positional Vertigo aka by medics particularly as BPPV. It is one widely experienced symptom of MAV amongst many others if that’s what you were wondering but then I’ve no idea if you’ve had a MAV diagnosis or have just started experiencing vertigo. Whichever … Welcome to the Site! Helen

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I cant even look down to my slippers or shoes on in the morning…so yes for me this is a ongoing symptom. Awful.

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If one already has a MAV diagnosis (which I know you do) I think it’s probably best to treat it as a trigger and avoid it by alternative methods. Maybe you may need to join the ‘Champion Squatter’ brigade. Otherwise some medical tests by the doctor must be on the cards I’d say. Helen


Going down on my haunches use to make me dizzy for days after. Somehow that effect has gone thank goodness!

I used to only get additional tinnitus on bending over, the lesser of the two evils. This effect has gone too.


Due to change of visual horizon your balance system using if other input unreliable when acute. Or, and I’d never thought if this if I hadn’t smashed my shoulder in a fall, a strain on your neck muscles (too close to your ears for comfort with MAV your neck I’ve always found). It’s surprising what muscles the body uses for sitting/squatting. I’d never have imagined how painful the act of sitting down/standing up could be with a broken shoulder til it happened to me, perhaps squatting strains the neckand affects the ear just as lifting weight will? Helen

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Ha ha…funny. I think i do suffer from some form of PPPD Helen.


Oh I shouldn’t get that if I were you. Apart from the fact I don’t think you’d ‘qualify’- not from the symptoms list I’ve seen - I know you are UK based and I reckon your chances of gaining access to a psychologist are about the same as that of a snowflake in July so I’d stick with ‘just’ the MAV. PPPD I think is a separate entity and no laughing matter and has it’s own treatment protocol. I suspect most unresolved MAV cases that don’t respond to meds quite quickly end up with some PPPD symptoms by natural progression but that should resolve through the MAV treatment protocols as a less complicated life evolves. Helen


I recommend that you do these movements very slowly if you need to. I try to avoid bending, looking up or moving my head too quickly.

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Yes, bending down/tilting forward is a major trigger of dizziness/vertigo for me when I’m going through a susceptible period (pretty much all the time).

It’s not immediately obvious to me how this could relate to migraine pathophysiology so I do sometimes question the MAV/VM diagnosis.


This diagnosis is not an aetiology, it’s just a classification of a condition based on a constellation of symptoms. There is nothing in science that tells us this condition’s impact begins in or is limited to the brain.

Positional symptoms kind of highlight how that is obviously not the case.

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Hi. Yes, that is a near daily part of life for me as well. It’s worse if I have to bend to the left, my left side is the bad side. If I have to bend down I have to hold onto something or I’m likely to find myself falling over. Arthritis in my knees makes squatting an issue, I’m thinking of getting a rolling stool for when I need things in my lower cabinets.
Looking up can make me lose my balance and fall to the left, so I’m careful with that. I have learned to move slower, and on bad days I try to not move my head quickly, sometimes I try to keep it as still as possible.