Walking and Anxiety

Hello does anybody else have problems with their walking which are related two feelings of anxiety. I find I frequently suffer from a form of anxiety when I attempt to walk. Since my stroke I have had three falls and each time I fall my anxiety about falling and hurting myself again increases. I feel that this is holding me back. I had my stroke in January of last year and it affected the right side of my body and has left me with significant weakness. Does anyone else suffer in the same way and perhaps maybe has found a solution

Dear Jojo

Every stroke is different. However, many of us get anxiety, lack of confidence and stroke fatigue. They all feed off each other. Depression gets many of us (but not me).

My mobility is quite good. I do have left sided weakness, but I dont have major physical disability. At first, I realized that it would be so easy to fall. So I decided that I would always have somewhere safe to fall. I thought about every step. I use a crutch, but I still always have a back up plan. I do gardenning. So I always have a garden fork stuck in the ground so that I can get up if I am bending or grab if I am falling. Admitedly I did stumble but couldnt use the fork because I was too close to a very thorny gooseberry bush! But I hope you get the idea. Ensure you are safe every single step. The anxiety will not disappear overnight, but it will slowly ease away when you know you are safe from falling. And once it eases, things get so much better. You have to rest, you have to work out a realistic keep fit program. I get masses of ideas from the group relaxation sessions that I go to monthly. Your weak side has a much greater impact than might seem the case. Get the weak side taking some strain away from the good side.

Ask for counselling. We all need help. Its a long long journey to recovery. 


Colin, as always, has given you excellent advice. I am fortunate because just before I left hospital my physio told me to expect falls and bruises. My early attempts at walking were painfully slow and I was so anxious I did not step outside the house for several months. When I did each step took an age and the shortest of walks took at least twenty minutes. I have speeded up since.

I benefited enormously from being taught how to get up from a fall and from being told not to use a stick around the house. I have fallen, of course, but knowing how to get up is a godsend. I still use a stick outdoors, because surfaces are more unpredictable and I dislike going downhill. Going uphill is fine.

As Colin says, be vigilant when out walking and go slowly. Your fears will fade the more you practise and achieve. Good luck to you!

Thank you Colin for advice.Food for thought?


Hi John.Thanks for replying. I appreciate your advice.



Hi, i too suffer from anxiety when walking (and also when talking as i have Asphasia and its worse when people approach me to talk). I had my stroke in January 2018 and still weak on right side with major balance issues and cognitive issues . I use a hiking pole when outside but i feel very anxious as soon as i step outside!  I feel people are looking at me especially as i stumble alot . Im sure they are not but i am very self conscious . I also lean to the right which doesnt help. I wish i could offer a solution , my friends say i should 'own it' . This is the new me and theres nothing i can do about it...but saying that, since last January my foot doesnt drop as much and my tremors arent as obvious so i do know that it gets easier with time, i just wasnt prepared for the length of time of recovery! Im still unfit for work a year on and even the thought of it makes me anxious . So i do feel for you, i really do. My advice would be to believe in yourself and the anxieties should lessen over time x 

how do you get up after a fall?


I had my first stroke in Feb last year, and then a 2nd stroke at the end of April. Both were minor strokes but the 2nd one left me with weakness in the right side and balance problems.  I have been using a walking stick out doors. I made the mistake of getting over confident and not using my stick for a walk to the local shop, inevitably this led to me losing my balance and a heavy fall. 

My advice is to use a stick and hold it in the hand on your "good" side. i.e. if you have right sided weakness hold the stick in your left hand. With regular practice you should see some improvement in your walking - it will take time.


Hi Yvonne. I have been taught this and videos are also available. You need to roll over on to you strong side, then get on your knees. You can then crawl to the nearest chair or even a wall and use it to help you get up. You can also raise your strong knee in front of the other one and push upwards. It is very important to know how to do this.




I'm similar,tho have'nt fallen yet .'Fraid have no solution ,strokes do a lot of damage ;its a case of trying to live with it,sorry. Got a group you could join ?  Eric

Hi All, Hopefully this is a new topic, I'm not anxcious but I do have mobility issues!  They evenually diagnosse me having mini strokes 1 year ago, my mobility was getting worse for the last 4 or 5 years, I was working fit and healthy then I left work to carer for someone, and my mobility started to go, I tried a stick for about a year, start having falls so i started using a four wheel walker, which I still use today.

10 months ago after increasing my physio exercises, which the doctors all said was the only way over recovering from their stroke diagnosis, I was doing well and so close to walking with out my stroller! I waoke up Monday morning and could not walk!! I had to use my stroller as a wheel chair!  Spoke to my GP he sais rest take paracetomol and see what it's like in a week! (I was not rolling around in agony, just could not weight bare on left leg!!)  Week later the same, GP arranges for Xray, few days later and a doctor calls me and says I've broken my hip can you get to hospital_ NO Ambulence.

So, Hip pinned (nobody beleived me I DI NOT FALL!!) 4 weeks stay physio exercises again! then they did bone density scan, I have osteoparosis.

Physio people seem confused about all the past problems and what course to take, I've seeing a different team of physios, new exercises.  I find some of them difficult, I am all on my own so I do the exercises the best I can.

I have slightt speach slurr (comes and goes) and my right hand writing has near enough gone!

I think I need extra help or support.  I do not know where to turn

Any thoughts