Vestibular Rehabilitation and Balance Therapy

 

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VESTIBULAR Rehabilitation

The inner ear and brain work together to form your vestibular system.  Your inner ear senses your position in space and your brain uses this information along with vision and the sensation from your body to maintain your balance.  If any of these systems are not providing accurate information to your brain, you may feel dizzy and unsteady, fall or have poor balance, or notice blurry vision when you are moving.

Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized type of physical therapy that focuses on improving your ability to integrate vestibular and other sensory information to decrease your dizziness, improve your balance and keep your vision clear while you are moving.

Whether you have vertigo, a rocking sensation, or a feeling of general unsteadiness or unease, our therapists have received training to determine the cause of your dizziness and recommend appropriate and personalized exercises to improve how you feel and how you move.

COMMON CAUSES OF DIZZINESS WE TREAT:

BENIGN PAROXYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO (BPPV)

BPPV is the most common type of vertigo and is often described as spinning or dizziness that occurs when you get into or out of bed or when you tilt your head up or down. The dizziness typically lasts less than 1 minute but can recur throughout the day and lead to nausea, vomiting or unsteadiness. BPPV is caused when otoconia (“ear rocks”) in your inner ear are displaced. Our physical therapists treat BPPV with repositioning maneuvers to stop the vertigo. If needed, appropriate balance exercises are recommended to improve your stability.

LABYRINTHITIS/VESTIBULAR NEURITIS

Labyrinthitis is an infection of the inner ear; vestibular neuritis is an infection of the nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain. Either condition can cause vertigo, dizziness, instability and visual problems due to decreased information going from your ear to your brain. Our therapists will assess how your inner ear function affects your balance and vision and prescribe personalized exercises to help your brain adapt so that your dizziness and balance improve.

OTHER VESTIBULAR DISORDERS

Physical therapy can help with many other vestibular problems too. Vestibular rehab can improve the unsteadiness and visual problems resulting from Meniere’s Disease or Migraine Associated Vertigo. Physical therapy is an important component of recovery after surgery for acoustic neuroma or other medical procedures that affect how well your inner ear works. Appropriate exercises can improve dizziness, instability and visual problems that can occur after a stroke, concussion and other brain injuries.

Bring BALANCE back into your life

While unsteadiness and falls are NOT a normal part of aging, they do become more common as we age. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four older adults fall each year and one out of every five falls causes a serious injury.

Of course, older individuals are not the only people who struggle with staying balanced. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy, and those who had a stroke or other neurologic problems often need to improve their stability as well.

Fortunately, your balance can improve! One of the most effective treatments to increase your stability is physical therapy. Our therapists have specialized training and more than a decade of experience treating balance disorders. As experts in the field, we are able to assess the causes of your balance problem, recommend effective exercises and suggest simple changes in your home or activities that can improve your safety.

Because every person is different, our therapists will tailor therapy to your goals and what is important to you. Taking action now to improve your balance can help you avoid falls and maintain your independence so you can continue to do what you love.

TAI CHI FOR ARTRITIS AND FALLS PREVENTION

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Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is an evidence-based falls prevention program recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Council on Aging (NCOA). It has been shown to improve balance, strength, and flexibility; offer relaxation; decrease pain; and reduce the risk of falls.

This class is led by Ann Pearce, PT and certified Tai Chi for Health Institute instructor. All adults are welcome to join us, from fully able-bodied individuals interested in the practice of tai chi to persons who have had a stroke, have Parkinson’s Disease, are unsteady, are afraid of falling or have arthritis or chronic pain. Appropriate modifications will be offered so that all individuals can participate safely and benefit from tai chi.

Call today to register for our next class!  919.535.3930