Vestibular Rehab and Vertigo

Learn More About Vestibular Rehabilitation in Surrey

Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercise-based program designed by a specially trained physiotherapist to assist in problems related to balance, dizziness/vertigo or visual control due to inner ear problems. Not only is this treatment meant to improve symptoms, it can help improve abilities for daily living and exercise.

Vestibular disorders of the inner ear may be a result of a number of issues such as:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Ear infections
  • Aging
  • 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.

This treatment can also benefit patients that have had long-term disorders that have undergone other treatments with little or no success. 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
  • Non-vestibular dizziness
  • Balance dysfunction

Individuals who report any or all of the following symptoms as a result of a Vestibular disorder may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation

  • Dizziness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Vertigo
  • Balance problems
  • 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
  • Motion sensitivity
  • 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:

  1. Habituation exercises: The physiotherapist makes you repeat movements that create dizziness. This is a form of “brain training” allows your brain to relearn how to interpret the signals it receives until it gets it right.
  2. Static and dynamic balance exercises: Most people who have vestibular problems also experience balance problems.
  3. Vestibular Occular exercises: These help you regain visual stabilization by combining head and eye movements in progressively more complicated positions and combinations.
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