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:

  • Vertigo
  • 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
  • Stroke
  • 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.

Treatment

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.
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