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Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise based program generally used to treat disorders that affect the inner ear and balance. These methods are used by a skilled physical therapist who can help decrease the risk for falls, improve balance, and decrease dizzy symptoms.

Symptoms of dizziness include:

  • Unsteadiness

  • Woozy feeling

  • Spinning sensation (are you spinning? OR is the world spinning around you?)

  • Feeling like you are on a boat

  • Lightheadedness

  • Swaying

  • Floating

  • Feeling like you are walking sideways

These symptoms can last for 10-15 seconds and occur multiple times a day or they can last all day. Depends on multiple factors including; condition, how long ago symptoms started, and what activity aggravates it.

What can cause dizziness?

  • Dizziness can occur at any age

  • The reason for dizziness can be a result of a change in medication, eye wear, too much computer use, inner ear issues, neck pain, and more complex issues

  • Dizziness is not a symptom to ignore

What is vertigo or BPPV?

   Vertigo is a condition that is often confused with “dizziness”. Dizziness and vertigo are symptoms of a vestibular disorder. Vertigo is a sensation that often feels like spinning or rotation that can last anywhere from 10-15 secs at a time. Quick motion of the head and body can increase symptoms and some people experience nausea or lightheadedness. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo which is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It often affects the eye's and equilibrium. The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and tells us how we are oriented in space. Oftentimes BPPV comes on when people change positions- picking something up or getting up out of bed. Most people associate BPPV with the term “loose crystals”. These crystals are free floating in the semicircular canal and can get dislodged and cause a disruption in the fluid which results in a sensation of movement when completely lying still. This can affect anyone at any time, however, some of us are more susceptible than others. Not all vertigo is BPPV, but it is generally the one that can be treated and most well known.

How is BPPV or vertigo treated?

   Typically dix-hallpike is used to determine which canal is involved. Generally the physical therapist will decide which treatment is best for your certain condition either using the epley, brandt daroff, VOR (vestibular-ocular-reflex) gaze habituation, and other various interventions.

Vertigo can impact anyone and if any of these seem similar to you don’t hesitate to contact your provider or schedule an appointment.