What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?
Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized type of physical therapy designed to address the unique problems of patients who suffer from vertigo, dizziness, or a sense of imbalance.
The physical therapists at BSR Physical Therapy have been trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the vestibular system and problems with imbalance.
Vestibular rehabilitation helps those experiencing dizziness and balance problems originating from the vestibule of the inner ear. The vestibule, along with vision and sensation, are the three systems used to maintain balance. When problems occur in one or more of these systems, the result is dizziness or a balance disorder. Vestibular rehabilitation uses skilled physical therapy techniques to treat vertigo and balance disorders with success rates as high as 90 percent.
How do Physical Therapists Diagnose a Vestibular Disorder?
A physical therapist will evaluate vestibular function, vision, sensation and the brain’s ability to utilize information from these systems to maintain balance. The therapist also tests balance, strength, motion sensitivity, coordination, eye function and functional activities.
Who Can Benefit From Vestibular Rehabilitation?
- People who suffer from vertigo, dizziness or a sense of imbalance.
- People who have had a stroke, head injury or concussion, a history of inner ear problems or diabetes.
- Elderly people who are more likely to develop a balance problem due to decreased reaction times and movement speeds, medicines that damage the inner ear and other conditions that affect balance.
What Treatments Are Available for Dizziness and Balance Disorders?
- Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers (also known as the Epley Maneuver) - a quick and effective treatment for positional vertigo.
- Vestibular Habituation Training - retrains the brain to adapt to specific movements without dizziness.
- Oculomotor Exercises - increases coordination between the eyes, brain and vestibular system.
- Balance Retraining - improves control of balance by teaching the brain to utilize all the systems affecting balance.