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Vestibular (Dizziness & Balance)

Vestibular rehabilitation and balance retraining

A majority of people living with vestibular (inner ear/balance) conditions often go undiagnosed and untreated, resulting in a diminished quality of life and inability to perform the normal activities of daily living.  Common symptoms include:

  • Imbalance
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Motion Sensitivity
  • Blurred Vision

Physical Therapy for vestibular issues are a specialized form of therapy intended to alleviate both the primary and secondary problems caused by a vestibular condition. One of our physical therapist specializing in vestibular treatment can best help with the differential diagnosis and evidence-based treatment of individuals with dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, and unsteadiness.

At your first appointment, your physical therapist will evaluate your symptoms and review your medical history. He or she will identify any problems with your balance, your gait (how you walk), neck motion, visual stability, as well as examine other potential problem areas. Based on the findings, an individualized plan of care is developed. The goal of your treatment plan is to improve any deficits that were identified. This, in turn, will improve your ability to function in activities of everyday living, reduce your risk for falling, and ultimately, improve your quality of life.

If you think you or someone you love has a vestibular issue, call us today (855)477-8463 and take advantage of our FREE Assessment so we can help get you back to optimal function!

Dizziness and Vertigo

Vertigo can be caused by both peripheral and central vestibular deficits. About three-fourths of vestibular disorders are peripheral (inner ear and vestibular nerve). Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo, a false sensation of spinning.

  • Benign – it is not life-threatening
  • Paroxysmal – it comes in sudden, brief spells
  • Positional – it gets triggered by certain head positions or movements
  • Vertigo – a false sense of rotational movement

Dizziness can be caused by a variety of conditions, but typically occurs from poor perception in the joints / muscles combined with visual tracking problems and inner ear coordination with your vestibular system. When the brain receives all these mixed signals, it becomes confused and dizziness occurs. Vertigo is a spinning sensation that typically occurs because of problems between the visual tracking and balance systems in the inner ear.

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in helping dizziness and vertigo, by performing tests to determine the source of your dizziness. Your Physical therapist can help you feel more in control and in some cases can achieve instant results with specialized procedures. In other cases, balance and coordination training diminish the symptoms and allow you to move without dizziness or vertigo.

 

Walking and Balance

Do you find that your balance is not what it used to be? Do you find that walking distances becomes tiresome and you may even be using an assistive device such as a cane or walker to get around? Your body’s ability to balance through the vestibular system allows you to walk without problems.

Your sense of balance enables you to negotiate uneven ground, correct for tripping over objects, and many other daily activities often taken for granted. Our ability to balance depends on three main components including: sensation from joints and muscles, the inner ear and vision. As we age, our reflexes slow down slightly. This makes it difficult to adapt to uneven terrain such as grass, cracked pavement, gravel and stairs. In addition, poor posture, weakness in the hips, ankles and poor eyesight can all contribute to poor balance.

Most people don’t understand that they have decreased balance until it is too late and they fall. Falls are the number one cause of death from injury in the US and also cause millions of fractures and injuries each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2016).  Most of this can be prevented with the right physical therapy treatments.

Our treatments are uniquely designed to your needs. We evaluate your walking (gait) pattern to determine where you are compensating for weaknesses or poor muscle coordination and your leg strength, movement, balance reflexes and much more to determine exactly where your balance problem lies. We then formulate a complete treatment plan that will improve your balance and train you on what you can do to maintain the improvement.  Furthermore, testing on your balance determines where we need to focus our attention on to achieve the greatest results for you. Many of our patients no longer have to use canes or walkers to walk anymore, allowing them a greater freedom of safe movement.

Want to learn more about related conditions? Check out our conditions library

Call today to schedule your FREE injury or pain assessment (855) 477-8463. Offering locations in Oakland, Macomb and Lapeer Counties throughout Southeast Michigan. We are locally owned and operated rehabilitation health facilities, where our patients are more than a number…they are family!