Vestibular Rehabilitation

About Vestibular Rehabilitation

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  • Get partial or complete relief from vertigo and dizziness.
  • Helps regain balance and improves safety as patient improves and regains balance.
  • Increases stability during movements of daily activities.
  • Involuntary eye movements are often decreased.
  • Optimizes visual-vestibular interaction.
  • Gain increased confidence of performing activities.

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation

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Vestibular rehabilitation is done to help make the brain relearn to recognize and interpret signals from the vestibular system in sync with information received from vision and proprioception (sensory awareness of a body part, muscle and joint).

The vestibular system in the brain controls our posture, the ability to maintain balance and our movements as we walk or run. Our vision, auditory system (ears), facial muscles and the processors on the soles of our feet are all important components of the vestibular system.

If the brain does not receive proper information from the vestibular system, we are not able to maintain proper posture or balance. As a result we become more dependent on vision and proprioception.

In order to compensate for this change, we develop exaggerated patterns such as increased hip swaying for balancing. The patient ends up moving the entire body rather than just the head to look at something or looks down due to anxiety of tripping. This set of activities can trigger headache, muscle stiffness, fatigue, neck ache and other body aches.

The objective of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is to retrain the brain, by recognizing the signals from the vestibular system along with information received from proprioception and vision.

How it Helps

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The feeling of losing our balance and unsteadiness can be very disturbing. We may feel disoriented, have unclear vision, lose control when walking steadily, have a feeling that the room is spinning, etc.

The other problems that are associated with it can be diarrhea, nausea, giddiness, weakness, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. Because of this it is hard to lead a normal, happy life.

The only way we can get complete relief from this health issue is by undergoing vestibular rehabilitation.

The organ which controls the balance of the human body is present in the inner ear which is very near to the auditory nerve. It is believed that quite often the feeling of dizziness is caused due to this part of the ear. The person who suffers from such a problem may also experience inability to hear properly through one or both ears.

Tinnitus, a condition in which the person feels ‘ringing in the ears’ can also take place due to dizziness. The only therapy that has proved to be very successful in treating it is vestibular rehabilitation. Vestibular rehabilitation will not only help in understanding the underlying causes, but will also thoroughly examine the factors that cause dizziness and vertigo. Based on these findings, therapists can create a complete course of therapy to get rid of the problem.

Common Questions

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As a part of vestibular rehabilitation, you may have to do the following set of exercises: ocular motor exercises, eye-head coordination exercises, postural exercises, vestibular-ocular reflex stimulation exercises, balance training exercises and gait training exercises.

First there is a thorough evaluation to find out the root cause of your problem. Behaviours like balance, posture, eye movement etc are observed. The vestibular rehabilitation therapists are in constant conversation with your family doctor or physician to note the reasons for your condition. After evaluation, the therapist in charge of vestibular rehabilitation outlines an individual customized plan for treatment that includes exercises to be performed at the clinic as well as home. Most of these exercises are related to eyes, body movements and head.

If you are suffering from vertigo, imbalance or dizziness, vestibular rehabilitation therapy is an option to strongly consider. People who experience dizziness or imbalance after a neck injury, stroke patients, diabetics, people with history of inner ear problems or those who have suffered concussion or head injury and anyone recovering from acoustic neuroma can benefit. It is worth noting that older individuals who react slowly to stimulus are likely to develop balance problems. These same individuals may also suffer because they take medicines that cause side effects to the inner ear.

The reasons could be many: viral or bacterial infections, trauma, swelling of a nerve, Meniere’s Disease (disease of the inner ear distinguished by episodes of dizziness), vascular ischemia etc.

Coverage Options

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pt Health therapy services are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare – such as OHIP (Ontario), Alberta Health Care and Medical Service Plan MSP (British Columbia). Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us toll free at 1-866-749-7461.

At pt Health we believe your health should come first. We take care of the paperwork so you can focus on getting better, plus we offer direct insurance billing, saving you time and up front costs.

Ready to feel your best? Schedule an appointment at any one of our convenient locations near you or BOOK ONLINE!

Learn More About pt Health Coverage Options

Research

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The research on ‘Efficacy of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy in Reducing Falls’ was done to assess the short-term effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation therapy in reducing fall risk in an at-risk population. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy resulted in a statistically significant improvement in Berg balance test scores (pretherapy, 36.8, to posttherapy, 46.4). Referring diagnosis, age, and gender had no impact on outcome. It was concluded that Vestibular rehabilitation therapy significantly reduces the risk of falls in elderly at-risk patients with improvement measured at the termination of therapy. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy plays an important preventive role in reducing falls in at-risk elderly patients, with beneficial effects seen at termination of therapy.

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