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Balance skills are a critical element needed to perform everyday tasks. For some that skill can be difficult, frustrating or even frightening to master. Vestibular Therapy may help individuals who have a vestibular disorder and suffer from imbalance or dizziness. Our therapists are specially trained to differentiate which system or systems in the body are not working correctly, and to develop a treatment plan tailored to each individual’s needs.
What is a Vestibular Disorder?
The vestibular, or balance, system in the body includes parts of the inner ear and nervous system that control equilibrium, balance and orientation. Vestibular disorders disrupt this system as a result of many conditions including Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), migraines, vestibular neuritis, medications toxic to the ear, or a head injury or concussion.
Vestibular disorders can cause dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, hearing changes, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms, with potentially devastating effects on a person’s day-to-day functioning, including work and relationships with family and friends.
What is Vestibular Therapy?
Vestibular therapy is an important part of the treatment of vestibular disorders. An extensive evaluation is performed by a licensed physical therapist specifically trained in the treatment of vestibular disorders to determine the appropriate plan of care.
Each case is treated on an individual basis, taking into account a person’s medical condition, lifestyle and individual needs. Therapy also involves an exercise-based rehabilitation program designed to improve:
- Eye-head coordination
- Postural control
- Fitness level while reducing vertigo
Who Can Benefit?
Individuals who frequently have complaints of dizziness or imbalance and have had a Vestibular Disorder diagnosis such as:
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
- Peripheral Vertigo
- Pharmacologic Ototoxicity
- Stable Meniere’s Disease
- Vestibular Neuronitis/Labrynthitis
Other balance-related diagnoses:
- Disuse Atrophy
- Fall Risk
- Head Injury/Concussion
- Multiple Sclerosis
A person may be a candidate for therapy if they experience an increase in dizziness or vertigo when:
- Looking up
- Walking down the aisle of a supermarket
- Making quick movements of the head
- Turning over in bed
- Bending over
- Walking on uneven ground
It is important to remember that many factors can result in dizziness and imbalance. Individuals not likely to benefit from vestibular therapy include persons that experience dizziness as a result of low blood pressure or as a side effect of their medication.
Contact your physician to request a referral for a physical therapy evaluation to see if you qualify for Vestibular Therapy.
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For information contact (402) 644-7396.
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