Vestibular rehabilitation therapy focuses on the central nervous system’s connection to the inner ear’s balance area. When issues with the inner ear arise, most patients have difficulty maintaining their balance and exhibit a variety of symptoms including nausea, loss of balance, sudden loss of control, or gait disturbances. Dizziness or vertigo, or the feeling of spinning, are often associated with these symptoms.
To treat vertigo and balance problems, vestibular rehabilitation employs physical therapy methods such as positional maneuvers, oculomotor exercises, balance retraining, and motion tolerance exercises. Vestibular recovery can help people who have vertigo, dizziness, or a sense of imbalance, as well as those who have had a head injury or concussion. This highly specialized service would also assist people with reduced mobility, trouble walking, a history of falls, or a fear of falling.
If you’re feeling dizziness, ear pressure, nausea, ringing in the ears, chronic headaches, or imbalance, it may be a sign of Vestibular system dysfunction. The good news is that you will get back to living your life with Vestibular physical therapy from a physiotherapist. Your Vestibular system works to process sensory signals that affect your sense of balance and eye movements by controlling parts of the inner ear and brain. Dizziness or vertigo may have been caused by a disturbance in the system as a result of an accident or illness. These symptoms can go well beyond minor annoyances and can lead to persistent imbalance, which can affect your social life by restricting your enjoyment of daily activities.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV, is one of the most common Vestibular diagnoses. BPPV has been successfully treated with physical therapy. Other Vestibular diagnoses treated by physical therapists include Vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis, and dizziness caused by concussions or migraines. With a focused treatment plan, vestibular rehabilitation therapy could drastically improve your symptoms.
Your Vestibular physical therapy care plan will be determined by your condition and symptom tolerance. To treat BPPV, your physical therapist can lead you through canalith repositioning maneuvers, which are a series of head positions aimed at dislodging a calcium crystal from one of your inner ear canals. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy can also involve adaptation or habituation exercises, which teach the brain how to re-adapt to the problem.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy might be able to help you feel better faster than you think! Rehabilitation for BPPV can only require a few brief therapy sessions focusing on repositioning maneuvers. If the symptoms are linked to another diagnosis, however, the process can take a few weeks of progressive exercises. These are usually based on head movement, with several other variables depending on how the symptoms are triggered. The majority of patients will see a substantial reduction in symptoms, if not full resolution, and a significant improvement in their quality of life.
Please contact Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic to make an appointment with a Vestibular accredited therapist if you are experiencing Vestibular symptoms such as dizziness or imbalance.