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Vestibular Therapy

Treatment for Balance Disorders

In Rehab Connection’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Program, physical therapists provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment to alleviate symptoms of dizziness and vertigo and improve balance and mobility. The skilled therapists trained in this program have been very successful in assisting patients to alleviate such symptoms and in returning them to a higher level of function.

The core of this program includes:

  • Vestibular habituation/adaptation exercises
  • Vestibular oculomotor exercises
  • Balance retraining
  • Canalith repositioning procedures for BPPV
  • Gait stabilization exercises
  • Compensatory strategies
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Sensory integration strategies
  • Posture education
  • Fall prevention and safety training

How the vestibular system works

The vestibular system is located in the ear canal and is responsible for maintaining the body’s sense of balance. It receives input from the eyes, ears, and other senses to detect gravity and determine our place in space. The pressure in the vestibular system transmits signals to the brain that help us maintain our sense of balance. When something impacts the vestibular system, it can seem like the room is spinning.

Some conditions that can affect the vestibular system include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Head trauma/whiplash
  • Stroke
  • Post-operative brain tumor or inner ear surgery
  • Disease or inflammation of the inner ear
  • Light headedness, nausea, or disorientation
  • Motion intolerance

Vestibular therapy works by identifying the issue that is affecting your vestibular system. The treatment plan then focuses on correcting the problem or finding methods of altering the vestibular system so that it can adjust to what’s happening to it so you can regain balance. This is often done by repeating motions that induce dizziness so your vestibular system can adjust to them. Another form of therapy is gaze stabilization, which involves controlling eye movements so that you can avoid the blurry vision that may play a role in dizzy spells.

These are just a few of the strategies used in vestibular therapy. For more information or to make a referral, call us at 504.349.6140.

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