Vestibular Rehabilitation Services
Though patients suffering from vestibular and balance deficit range in all ages, at least forty percent of people over the age of 40 experience dizziness, vertigo or balance problems at some point in their life. There are many causes for dizziness, but a large percentage is caused by an imbalance or loss within the peripheral vestibular system (inner ear). Our physical therapists treat patients with dizziness and/or imbalance resulting from disorders including:
· Otolith Dysfunction
· Vestibular Labyrinthitis/Neuritis
· Acoustic Neuroma
· Meniere’s Syndrome
· Neurologic Disorders (stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis)
· Migraine Varient Vertigo
· Cervicogenic Dizziness
Vestibular Rehabilitation is a specific form of physical therapy designed to promote vestibular adaptation and compensation for deficits related to a wide variety of balance disorders. This rehabilitation is effective in improving the functional deficits and symptoms resulting from peripheral vestibular dysfunction, as well as from central balance disorders. It is a systematic, individually designed regimen of exercises and activities that address the unique needs of individual patients.
The goals of Vestibular Rehabilitation are to improve balance, orientation/equilibrium, minimize falls, and decrease the sensation of dizziness by improving vestibular function and promoting mechanisms of central adaptation and compensation. By decreasing frequency, intensity, and duration of dizziness or vertigo, your related symptoms such as headache, nausea, and lightheadedness are decreased and your independence in daily life is increased.
An accurate diagnosis and assessment of a patient is critical for a successful individualized Vestibular Rehabilitation program. At your initial visit, you will have an hour and twenty minute - one on one appointment with a physical therapist. The evaluation includes the assessment of functional abilities such as gait, ambulation while performing additional tasks, balance with altered sensory cues, and balance under static and dynamic conditions, motion sensitivity tests, and BPPV screening.
The therapist establishes a clear description of the type of symptoms experienced by the patient (eg, vertigo, imbalance, disequilibrium, presyncopal sensations, gait ataxia) and the frequency and duration of the symptoms. Specific activities, head or body positions that provoke symptoms should be determined.
Using the results of this evaluation, our physical therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan that will include exercises to be performed both in the therapy department and at home. These exercises will likely include: visual vestibular exercises (which combine head/body movements with eye exercises, sensory re-organization training, balance training, gait training, and safety education. Many times, treatment may also include increasing activities and exercise in order to strengthen muscles and increase tolerance for certain stimuli. The customized rehabilitation program will be designed to alleviate symptoms and restore function. As these are complicated issues, patient education is stressed throughout the process to facilitate patient understanding. Our physical therapists maintain communication with the physician to ensure complete care of the patient
For an appointment for Vestibular Therapy please call 425-433-0123