The Vestibular Migraine Community

Trouble with stairs


#1

I’ve noticed that since I became afflicted with VM I’ve had a lot of trouble going up inclines, specifically hills and stairs. If I walk up a flight of stairs at work it really exacerbates my dizziness. It also really gets my heart rate up, more so than when I used to go up stairs before VM.

Does anyone else have trouble with stairs, hills, hiking or anything of the like?


#2

That is very interesting because I have been a long distance walker all my life including big, big hills, small mountains etc which I used to take in my stride with no problems. When VM was uncontrolled I not only had a ridiculously fast heart rate but also extreme shortness of breath when walking up stairs or small inclines. I could not make sense of it at all. Now VM is controlled I only have problems on breakthrough days when everything goes to pot, vision, balance, breathing etc. So I reckon it’s just another symptom of the delightfully complex disease!


#3

Good to know I’m not alone!

What medications did you take (if any) to get your VM under control?


#4

I take 10mg nortriptyline at night and 25mg of nortriptyline in two split doses 12 hours apart. Works like magic for me I am delighted to say. I hope I haven’t jinxed it!!!


#5

i had the same balance problems with inclines and sometimes still do on bad days.

i also sometimes get the heart rate problems on bad days as well.

i like to think it is just part of the migraine-type neurological symptom set playing around with the autonomic system and making everything go a bit wrong.

it could also be the meds though, or if the meds have lowered your blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump it around, or if the meds have lowered/slowed your cardio response, your heart has to go into override to ‘wake up’ to higher activity.

that’s my non-medical opinion!


#6

Please have an echo done first by a cardiologist if you have problems climbing stairs or hills (unless you are out of shape).


#7

I think the point here is that the symptoms are sporadic, they are only there on occasions as other times stairs and inclines cause no problems. I had all the cardio workups and no abnormalities were found so it is all probably due to the electrical activity which needs calming, hence why the meds work. It still happens to me on breakthrough symptom days whilst the rest of the time I can run up hill and hold a conversation.


#8

I had all the heart tests in the world done when this first started. Nothing wrong with the old ticker

I can also sit on the exercise bike, light jog or row for short periods with no issues. For whatever reason it’s stairs that pose a problem. They seem to mess me all up, and I don’t know why that would be


#9

Is it going up or down the stairs?


#10

Up mostly, down doesn’t pose much of a problem for me


#11

Do you tilt your head too far back? Try different positions & see if it helps. Good luck!