What Is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

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Vestibular disorders affect about 35 percent of Americans over the age of 40, according to VeDA Life Rebalanced. Vestibular disorders are developed when an injury or disease damages the processing areas of the vestibular systems.

A contributor to VeDA wrote, “The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements.”

There are many types of vestibular disorders. Here are some examples:

  • Dizziness/imbalance related to age
  • Acoustic neuroma/vestibular Schwannoma
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease
  • Benign paroxysmal (BPPV)
  • Bilateral vestibular hypofunction

Read about other vestibular disorders here.

“The painful economic and social impacts of dizziness (caused by vestibular dysfunction) are significantly underestimated.” — VeDA

Treat Vestibular Disorders with Physiotherapy

There are a variety of treatment options for individuals having issues with their vestibular system — one is physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy is a drug-free, exercise-based therapy. A physiotherapist assists people with vestibular disorders and many other health problems by providing education, advice, manual therapy, and movement and exercise.

It may seem far-fetched that exercise and movement can help people with vestibular disorders, but when you understand the science behind it, it makes perfect sense.

How Vestibular Rehabilitation Works

A physiotherapy program designed to help individuals with vestibular issues is referred to as ‘vestibular rehabilitation’.

“Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) is an exercise-based programme to encourage the central nervous system to compensate for problems in the inner ear,” stated The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. “Following thorough examination, specialist physiotherapists develop personalized exercise-based management plans including home exercise programmes.” These vestibular rehabilitation programs may include…

  • Movement exercises for the eye and head
  • Exercises that can improve one’s ability to stand and walk with ease
  • “Specific techniques to reposition fragments in the inner ear which cause dizziness in BPPV.”
  • Instruction on how to perform daily activities in a way that promotes a healthy vestibular system.
  • Falls prevention advice and education.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Patients Get Results

Participating in a vestibular rehabilitation program can be incredibly beneficial to people struggling with disorders relating to this body system. In fact, physiotherapy brings about significant improvement in…

  1. “80 percent of patients with unilateral vestibular loss (e.g. labyrinthitis, acoustic neuroma surgery).
  2. 80 percent of patients with BPPV after one treatment session.
  3. Patients with a central cause (e.g. stroke) may show some improvement.
  4. Use of VR in concussion, migraine, and nonspecific balance loss of the elderly may be helpful,” according to the article Physiotherapy Works: Vestibular Rehabilitation.

Clearly, vestibular rehabilitation, a type of physiotherapy, is beneficial for those with vestibular disorders.

Do You Have a Vestibular Disorder? Find Help Now.

Do you have a vestibular disorder, or do you suspect you might have one? If so, and if you live near Winnipeg, contact the friendly team of physiotherapists at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics. The staff members at Elite are skilled at treating individuals having vestibular problems. Don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • “Do I suffer from unexplained dizziness, imbalance, or lack of coordination?”
  • “Have I considered physiotherapy as a treatment option for my vestibular issues?”

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