Do you experience balance issues? Do you regularly get dizzy or lightheaded? If so, you could have a vestibular deficit. The vestibular system is made up of parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movements. The vestibular system can be damaged by disease, aging, or injury and result in disorders. These disorders can be flagged by symptoms of vertigo and imbalance. Vestibular therapy is used to help reduce these symptoms of the vestibular deficit and prevent further bodily injuries.
Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercise-based program design to improve balance and reduce problems related to vertigo or dizziness. These feelings of dizziness can be classified as unsteadiness, lightheadedness, passing out, sensations of spinning, swaying, floating, tilting or whirling. These sensations typically happen when the person is standing, but they can happen when a person is sitting or even laying down. Vestibular therapy is typically the only treatment needed unless it’s for pre-surgery/post-surgery treatments.
Vestibular Rehabilitation Candidates
Patients that are suggested to undergo vestibular rehabilitation therapy are typically diagnosed with dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, migraines or a degenerative issue such as Meniere’s syndrome, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Patients who have experienced a serious affliction, such as a stroke or brain injury, can frequently fall or lose their balance. Vestibular therapy can help them achieve a certain level of control.
This type of therapy helps to control the symptoms of injuries and disorders. Some of these include:
- Dizziness or blurry vision with head movements
- Neck tightness, stiffness and/or pain
- Imbalance or the need to hold onto objects when walking
- Frequent falls
- Generalized “dizziness, wooziness and foggy head” feelings
After a physician determines that you may require or benefit from vestibular therapy, a physical therapist will evaluate your symptoms and review your medical history. They may also make an assessment of your functionality, including your:
- Leg flexibility
- Leg strength
- Gait (posture and position while walking)
- Visual stability and mobility
- Neck mobility and neck and arm strength
- Positional testing, including an inner ear exam
Based on the results of your assessment, the physical therapist will create a plan to best support and train your body and needs. The goal of a vestibular therapy plan is to improve the weak spots that were identified in your balance and body support. After therapy, you’ll notice improvements in your ability to function in everyday activities, more balance, and control to reduce your risk for falling and improve your quality of life. Patients that continue these exercises at home will notice an even greater decrease in their balance and dizziness problems.
If you are experiencing dizziness and imbalance issues, or have been diagnosed with a vestibular deficit, it’s important to get it looked at by a professional as soon as possible. If you are looking for a qualified, experienced orthopedic doctor in Broward County, Florida, call Total Orthopaedic Care (T.O.C.) at (954) 735-3535. They will be happy to answer all your questions about your orthopedic needs. You can request an appointment online or make a same-day appointment for acute or new injuries.