Vestibular Rehabilitation is a type of physical therapy treatment to address vertigo and balance dysfunction. Vertigo symptoms include dizziness, light headedness, loss of balance, visual disturbance, and nausea during positional change and movement. These symptoms can start gradually or strike suddenly, due to an accident or illness. Sometimes the cause is unknown. Patients with vertigo are often unable to work or drive safely and therefore benefit from immediate treatment to address symptoms. We work diligently to see patients for the initial evaluation and treatment as quickly as possible, often within one to two business days of receiving the referral. Treatment is focused on addressing the primary problem which is often a mechanical issue in the inner ear, as well as secondary effects such as balance or visual disturbances. Patients can expect an average of 3-6 sessions to fully address symptoms, although many people return to work and independent function after two sessions.
Vestibular rehabilitation can be used to treat many conditions including:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Vestibular Neuritis
- Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV)
- Post-Surgical Acoustic Neuroma
There are structures in the inner ear that function together to help you maintain balance and body awareness. A shift in these structural components can lead to mechanical instability. Patients with vestibular dysfunction participate in an individualized program that often starts with structural repositioning maneuvers. These maneuvers include a series of head position changes to treat mechanical dysfunction of the inner ear. Some commonly known types of this treatment include the Epley, Liberatory, or Semont maneuvers. Other components of vestibular treatment may include balance exercise, fall prevention, visual retraining techniques, core stability training, home exercise program instruction, postural education, or ergonomic training.
We have experienced physical therapists here at Pouzol Physical Therapy who are trained in vestibular rehabilitation treatment techniques. Some of our patients have come to us after spending years with chronic symptoms and tried numerous medications. Please do not wait to seek treatment.
McDonnell MN, Hillier SL. Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005397. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005397.pub4
Sealy, A. Vestibular assessment: a practical approach. Occup Med; 2014: 64(2):78-86.