What is Vestibular Therapy?
Where is your Vestibular system?
The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If there is dysfunction in these processing areas, vestibular disorders can result. Vestibular disorders can also result from or be worsened by genetic or environmental conditions, or occur for unknown reasons.
How common is Dizziness due to Vestibular origin?
Dizziness (including vertigo) affects about 15% to over 20% of adults seen yearly in large population based studies. It has been reported that 35% of US adults age 40 years and older had evidence of balance dysfunction based on this postural metric.
BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) is the most common vestibular disorder, and may account for up to one-third of vertigo presentations, can occur at any age, most common is 5th-6th decades of life.
Vestibular migraine is the second most common cause of dizziness with prevalence of 6–7% among patients who presented to a neurotology clinic, and a prevalence of 9% in patients who presented to a migraine clinic. Dizziness and vertigo are the most frequent persistent symptoms post MVA with incidence of 25%.
Who can benefit from VRT (Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy)?
The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis, vestibular migraine, vestibular involvement post sports concussion, cervicogenic dizziness, PPPD. Patients with above conditions can benefit from this program.
VRT along with balance training leads to decreased fall risk, improved balance, decreased dizziness, increased body strength, improved ability to stabilize vision, improved neck motion, reduced symptoms, return to prior level of movement/function along with increased confidence to maintain balance along with return to athletic performance.
What to expect in a Vestibular Physical Therapy visit?
The vestibular physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation and perform tests using specialized equipment to view eye movements and conduct standardized tests for balance, in order to develop an individualized treatment plan which may include:
- Balance retraining and balance strategies which helps the body to regain confidence in activities of daily living and work.
- Sensory organization techniques and gaze stabilization strategies: helping the body to use its senses to overcome dizziness and decreased balance.
- Habituation exercises: helping the body to decrease dizziness by repeatedly exposing it to a stimulus.
- Canalith repositioning maneuver: a maneuver performed by the PT to manipulate the calcium crystals found in the inner ear.
- Individualized home exercises, based on your needs.