Over 69 million people have experienced vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives. People with vestibular disorders often experience problems with vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbance, and/or imbalance. It is an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce these symptoms.
What is the Vestibular System?
Your vestibular system is composed of three canals and two sacs filled with fluid. The fluid shifts when you turn your head or change positions and stimulates hair cell receptors to tell the brain what’s happening. The brain then uses this information to maintain balance and help the eyes stay focused. Problems in the vestibular system can be caused by how/when the receptors fire or by problems with the nerves that transmit this message to the brain.
What is vestibular rehabilitation?
Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program, designed by a specialized physical therapist, to improve balance and reduce problems related to dizziness. It may help control symptoms, reduce functional disabilities and improve quality of life.
Common Symptoms of Vestibular Disorders
A majority of adults living with vestibular disorders often go undiagnosed and untreated, resulting in a diminished quality of life and inability to perform the normal activities of daily living. Patients suffering from vestibular disorders often experience:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Positional or persistent vertigo
- Impaired postural control
At LeMoine Physical Therapy, VRT is a physical therapy program that is often suggested to help patients that are suffering from vestibular dysfunction.
Vestibular Therapy Services include
- Canalith repositioning/Epley maneuver
- Habituation techniques
- Adaptation exercises
- Gaze stabilization exercises
- Balance training
- Gait training (how you walk)
- Visual stability and mobility
- Position testing
- Transfer training
- Fall prevention
- Self-management techniques
- Patient and family education
Expected vestibular rehabilitation outcomes include:
- Decreased risk of falling
- A decrease in dizziness symptoms
- Improved balance
- Improved ability to stabilize vision/gaze
- Increased body strength
- Return to prior level of movement/function
- Increase in confidence in ability to maintain balance
- Improved neck motion, reduced symptoms
How successful is vestibular rehabilitation therapy?
Many times, vestibular rehabilitation therapy will be the only treatment needed. Other times, it is a part of the presurgery/postsurgery treatment plan. In most cases, if patients continue to perform the exercises they have learned, balance and dizziness problems decrease significantly or completely disappear.