Climbing up and down the stairs while keeping a narrow base of support

Patient’s description: 54 years old patient with ataxia as a result of a brain tumor surgery.


1. The patient was asked to climb up and down one step without using the handrails. She almost loses balance when climbing, leans on the handrails to prevent herself from falling, and lands in a wide base of support.


2. The patient also struggles to keep her balance while descending, and leans on the handrail for support.


3. The PT decides to decrease the level of difficulty by lowering the stair’s height. Now the patient can perform the exercise better and safer. She still uses a wide base of support, common with ataxic patients.


4. The PT instructs the patient to keep a narrow base of support, while holding one handrail. When descending backwards, the patient cannot see where she lands her foot, and struggles to place it correctly.