Your vestibular system helps your body keep its balance by using information from the eyes, inner ear, arms, and legs to tell the brain how the body is moving or how it is positioned. When this information is altered or missing, you can lose your balance, become dizzy, or experience vertigo.

There are treatments to restore these functions that may include special maneuvers to restore normal inner-ear function, balance training, strength training, eye exercises and range of motion exercise, gait training, and manual therapy to address neck conditions.

Physical therapy can play a role in returning you to normal activities when you’ve had an episode of vertigo. Physical therapy can treat:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Vestibular hypofunction (decreased functioning)
  • Cerviogenic dizziness (dizziness due to problems in your neck)
  • Post-concussion symptoms and other causes of dizziness

When you attend physical therapy for your vertigo, a therapist will start with an examination to determine the underlying cause of your vertigo, then determine the best plan of care to decrease your dizziness.

Vestibular rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is performed by a licensed Physical Therapist with special training in vestibular therapy. The length of treatment could be one week to several months depending on the type of vestibular issue. The goal of therapy is to minimize or eliminate symptoms and return you to the activities you enjoy.

Your therapist will perform a multi-system assessment to determine what systems are most involved. What happens after that will be based on those findings and on your goals, which will be discussed during your initial visit.

Possible symptoms

You may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation if you experience a mix of the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness / vertigo
  • Disequilibrium and walking imbalance
  • Falls / loss of balance
  • Movement sensitivity
  • Position sensitivity
  • Neck pain and loss of motion
  • Fatigue / eye fatigue / headaches
  • Loss of coordination
  • Facial pain / pressure
  • Ear pain / pressure / ringing
  • Trouble focusing or reading
  • Nausea / vomiting

So many of us may have lived with these conditions for years, thinking or having been told there was nothing that could be done to help. But that is not always the case anymore.
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