Vestibular and Vertigo
Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercise-based program designed by a specially trained physiotherapist or chiropractor to assist in problems related to balance, dizziness/vertigo or visual control due to inner ear problems.
The treatment is intended to improve or resolve symptoms as well as improve abilities in daily living and exercise tolerance.
Vestibular disorders may be a result of motor vehicle accidents, ear infections, and aging or be of insidious onset such as BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo).
Who Needs Vestibular Rehabilitation?
It is critical that persons entering a VRT program have a confirmed diagnosis of vestibular pathology because not all dizziness is caused by vestibular deficits. Most referrals come from otolaryngologists or neurologists. If there is some question about the nature of the underlying disorder in individuals who are referred from other sources, the treating therapist may request an otology consult. VRT can help with a variety of vestibular problems, including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and unilateral or bilateral vestibular hypofunction (reduced inner-ear function on one or both sides) associated with diagnoses such as Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuritis. Even individuals with long-term unresolved inner ear disorders who have undergone a period of medical management—with little or no success—may benefit. VRT can also help people with an acute or abrupt loss of vestibular function following surgery for vestibular problems.
You are not a candidate for vestibular rehabilitation if you have any of the following: Meniere’s disease or Non-vestibular dizziness or balance dysfunction.
Individuals who report any or all of the following symptoms as a result of a Vestibular disorder may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation:
Motion sensitivity (quick head movements that provoke dizziness)
Problems with gaze stability (blurring of vision with head movements)
What Happens During My Visit?
A thorough assessment is performed, based on your symptoms, which may include observing:
eye and head coordination
balance and gait
and testing for BPPV.
A treatment program is individualized for each client and may involve a repositioning technique or exercise.
The main types of exercises that physiotherapists can use are: