What is Vestibular rehabilitation therapy?
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is designed to help those with dizziness and balance issues through a series of vestibular rehabilitation exercises that helps patients cope with the symptoms of dizziness and imbalance, thereby improving the quality of life in those patients.
What affects balance and dizziness?
The symptom of “dizziness” can be caused by an altered perception of one’s spatial orientation. If something affects the brains’ ability to correctly determine the position of the body, the lightheaded, unsteady, dizzy symptoms may develop. Many areas of the body affect a patient’s balance and can cause the sensation of dizziness. The patient’s sensory nervous system, located throughout the body, sends signals to the brain’s central nervous system relaying information such as position, posture, balance, etc. Parts of the sensory nervous system include the skin, joints, and muscles in the body relaying the body’s position and what is being touched. The patient’s eyes relay visual information to the central nervous system to determine position and perception of one’s surroundings. The vestibular labyrinth, located in both ears, helps the body react to movement such as turning your head or walking to help coordinate balance. If a disease affects the vestibular labyrinth, symptoms of imbalance and dizziness can develop. There are many diseases that can cause these symptoms. Some of those diseases include Vertigo, Meniere’s disease, Labyrinthitis, Vestibular neuritis, traumatic brain injury, and a stroke. It is important to be evaluated by a clinician if any of these symptoms develop. If so, vestibular rehabilitation therapy may be required to alleviate these symptoms.
What can I do for my vestibular issues?
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is designed to help those suffering from symptoms of dizziness and imbalance with a series of vestibular rehabilitation exercises. The first step after developing these symptoms is to be evaluated by a clinician, most often one’s primary care physician. Once evaluated by a primary care physician, a referral to an audiologist may take place for further workup and evaluation beyond what a primary care physician is capable of. Once referred to an audiologist, they can conduct further exams and evaluations including a vestibular test battery to determine how the inner ear is functioning and if the vestibular labyrinth is the cause of the dizziness and imbalance. Additionally, a physical therapist can evaluate a patient’s gait, balance, arm, and leg strength. After these referrals, vestibular rehabilitation therapy can begin. The vestibular rehabilitation exercises include a series of exercises to strengthen and improve many aspects of one’s sensory nervous system. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy has been shown to help reduce fall risks, improve balance, strength, vision control, and decrease dizziness symptoms. These exercises include balance training, stretching, strength exercises, and eye movement control. The length of vestibular rehabilitation therapy varies on a patient-to-patient basis. The severity of one’s symptoms as well as the disease that causes the patient’s symptoms can affect the length of time a patient undergoes vestibular rehabilitation therapy. One patient may require only a few sessions, while another may need weeks to months of therapy. Sometimes the symptoms of dizziness and imbalance are persistent and may require prolonged sessions of vestibular rehabilitation therapy. Other patients may be required to continuously complete some vestibular rehabilitation exercises at home to alleviate symptoms as they arise. Once completed, many patients have their symptoms resolved and quality of life improved.
Where can I go to get more information?
At Excellence Rehab, we are committed to getting you quickly feeling better! For more questions, please contact us!