Vestibular Disorders & Vertigo
At Physical Therapy Plus we can provide effective treatment specifically targeted to a person's unique vestibular disorder. (The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and keeps our bodies oriented correctly in space.) When there is a problem within the vestibular system a person will frequently experience symptoms such as imbalance, dizziness/vertigo, nausea, headache, fatigue and even anxiety. These symptoms may cause a person to restrict their daily activities sufficiently to result in loss of strength, reduced motion, and increased isolation.
Following a thorough evaluation, which includes a review of any specialized testing from the physician or audiologist, PT Plus will customize a therapeutic physical therapy program based upon the findings of the evaluation. When treatment is focused on improving the interaction between the vestibular system and our bodies, it is referred to as Vestibular Rehabilitation.
Vestibular exercises start slow and easy and then are gradually advanced as the program proceeds. During vestibular rehabilitation, the patient is instructed to do specific exercises faithfully at home. This is a critical part of a successful program. Studies have shown that vestibular rehabilitation customized for patients result in 85 percent resolution of symptoms. This is a significant improvement over the use of medications alone (less than 50 percent resolution).
A unique form of dizziness called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or, BPPV for short) is characterized by episodic, short duration bouts of dizziness, nausea, and/or imbalance that are related to movements of the head and specific changes of body position. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple disorder to diagnose and treat. Once the BPPV has been correctly identified it can be treated with a precise series of head movements that are referred to as the Canalith Repositioning Maneuver. Usually only one or two treatments are required. If your PT Plus therapist determines that the condition has interfered with some of your balance mechanisms, then a brief period of balance retraining therapy may be recommended.