Vestibular Therapy

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

 

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program, designed by a specially trained physiotherapist to improve balance and reduce the problem related to dizziness, Light-headedness, Sensations of moving/spinning or tilting. These feelings or sensations can occur when you are standing still, lying down, or changing positions. The symptoms can be constant or episodic, only lasting seconds, minutes, or hours. The goal of the treatment plan is to improve any deficits that were identified. This, in turn, will improve your ability to function in activities of everyday living, reduce your risk for falling and ultimately, improve your quality of life.  

 

Vertigo and Dizziness 

 

Vertigo or dizziness are symptoms rather than a disease. Vertigo refers to the sensation of spinning or whirling that occurs as a result of a disturbance in your balance (vestibular) system. 

 

Vertigo may be used to describe feelings of dizziness, light-headedness, faintness, and unsteadiness. The sensation of movement is called subjective vertigo and the perception of movement in surrounding objects is called objective vertigo. Vertigo usually occurs as a result of a disorder in the vestibular system (structures of the inner ear, the vestibular nerve, brainstem, and cerebellum). Your vestibular system is responsible for integrating sensory stimuli and movement and for keeping objects in visual focus as the body moves. The most common cause of dizziness is BPPV. Others include Inflammation in the inner ear, Meniere's disease, neck joint dysfunction, vestibular migraine, and acoustic neuroma.  

 

What is BPPV? 

 

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo — the sudden sensation that you are spinning or that the inside of your head is spinning. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo causes brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is usually triggered by specific changes in the position of your head. This might occur when you tip your head up or down, when you are lying down, or when you turn over or sit up in bed. 

 

The signs and symptoms of BPPV can come and go, with symptoms commonly lasting less than one minute. Episodes of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can disappear for some time and then recur. 

 

Symptoms:  

 

The signs and symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) may include: 

 

  • Dizziness 
  • A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo) 
  • A loss of balance or unsteadiness 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 

  

A thorough assessment is performed focused on functioning in 3 areas: 

  • Eye and head coordination 
  • Balance and gait 
  • Motion sensitivity 

Following the initial assessment, treatment may include: 

  • Balance retraining exercises 
  • Specific vestibular exercises (adaptation and habituation exercises) 
  • Supervised therapy session to monitor progress and continually challenge the vestibular, visual and balance systems 
  • Repositioning maneuvers for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) 

Please note that although no referral is required, it is recommended that you are assessed by your physician prior to commencing a vestibular rehabilitation program.

 

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