Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialty in Physical Therapy. Treatment is aimed at alleviating impairments due to a vestibular disorder. It is an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, reduce gaze instability, and/or reduce imbalance and fall risk.
Conditions we can help with:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Vestibular Neuritis
- Herpes Zoster Oticus
- Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
- Meniere’s Disease (once symptoms stabilized)
- Post surgery- Vestibular
- Schwannoma/Acoustic Neuroma
- Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MDDS)
- Barotrauma (if non-compensated unilateral vestibular dysfunction)
- Perilymph Fistula (if non-compensated unilateral vestibular dysfunction)
- Concussion (Cortical and Labyrinthine)
Common Symptoms Patients Experience:
- Blurred vision with head movement
- Trouble reading or focusing with head motion
- Trouble reading signs when walking
- Loss of sure-footedness
- Lack of coordinated movement
- Toes try to grab floor
- Feeling as if the external environment is moving around them
- Dizziness with changing position ex. Rolling over in bed
Gaze Stabilization Exercises: to help control eye movements for clearer vision with head movement. An example of an exercise would be keeping your head still as you look between a card in your right hand and one in your left hand.
Habituation Exercises: are used to treat symptoms of dizziness by repetition of the provocative motion or movement. Over time the brain learns to ignore the abnormal input reducing the symptoms of dizziness.
Substitution Exercises: are used to strengthen the weakened system. An example of an exercise would be balancing on a trampoline with your eyes open then closed to improve your bodies awareness in space.
Balance Retraining: exercises used to challenge a patient’s balance. An example may be balancing on one foot or balancing with one foot in front of another.
Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers: specifically for BPPV to help otoconia (calcium carbonate crystals) dislodged in semicircular canals.
Frequently Asked Questions About our Program:
Do I need a referral from a doctor?
Most patients can attend a physical therapy visit without having a prescription or written referral from a doctor or other referring provider. Insurance companies, however, may insist that you have a referral in order for you or your therapist to receive payment. Even if you do not need a referral from a medical provider, your therapist may require that you have seen a medical provider for your condition. Many conditions involving dizziness and balance can be medical in nature and require checking for more serious conditions, which can be discussed at the first visit.
What will we do on my first visit?
First, we will talk about what concerns or symptoms you may have. Your therapist will also look over any forms you filled out to learn more about your history. The exam will be discussed with you so that you can have any questions answered. Your therapy exam may include general movement like bending forward and backward, seeing how you move your body, and specific tests of your joints, muscles, and nerves. For vestibular rehabilitation, an assessment of your eye movements, body movements and balance will be assessed for development of rehabilitation program specific to you.
Will there be any restrictions following my treatment?
Post-maneuver restrictions following Canalith repositioning maneuvers are unnecessary. However, restrictions may be considered for patients who tend to have a reoccurrence of BPPV and for those patients who are not clear from BPPV symptoms following the initial