Vestibular (Ear) Therapy
Our therapists offer treatment for patients who experience dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems often caused by inner ear disorders. Vestibular disorders may occur following such events as a head injury or whiplash; or may appear as a symptom of aging, central nervous system disorders or hearing problems.
The resulting dizziness and balance difficulties can lead to increased risk of falling, decreased strength, reduced range-of-motion, muscle fatigue, headaches and diminished quality of life. Therapy can help to help ease symptoms and improve functioning for those experiencing dizziness due to:
- Vestibular dysfunction
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Head trauma or car accidents
- Vascular disease
- Balance problems following surgery
- Ototoxicity, or ear poisoning caused by medication or chemicals
- Other disorders, conditions or traumas as diagnosed by a patient's physician
What Is Vestibular Rehabilitation?
Physical therapists with specialized training use exercises and activities to help a patient's central nervous system compensate for the inner ear involvement. Goals are to decrease dizziness, improve balance and increase a patient’s ability to engage in activities at greater levels of functioning.
Your therapist is someone who specializes in vestibular disorders. He or she will do a complete assessment, monitoring your balance and gait, musculoskeletal issues, eye movement and vision, and vertigo. After a complete assessment, the therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan for you.
Treatment may include:
- Vestibular habituation exercises: repeating movements that typically cause vertigo and dizziness. These exercises help teach the brain to become familiar with these movements and, over time, become less likely to trigger the vertigo.
- Balance training exercises: Improve balance and standing/walking skills to decrease risk of falling.
- Canalith Repositioning: Simple head maneuvers that can minimize the effects of vertigo and dizziness.