What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?
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:
- Muscle stiffness
- Neck ache
- Other body aches
The feeling of losing our balance and unsteadiness can be very disturbing, and can cause:
- Unclear vision
- Loss of control when walking steadily
- A feeling that the room is spinning
Other potential problems include:
- Panic attacks
In addition, 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, which can also cause 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.
Benefits of Vestibular Rehabilitation
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.
Benefits of vestibular rehabilitation include:
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions
Therapy services at pt Health are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare, such as:
- OHIP (Ontario)
- Alberta Health Care (Alberta)
- 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!
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.