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Vestibular Physiotherapy

If you live with dizziness, vertigo or other balance related conditions, read on!

The vestibular system is the inner ear, which senses head movements and gravity to help maintain postural control and to keep our gaze stable when we move around. Problems in the vestibular system can cause dizziness, vertigo (a feeling of spinning or motion), and an overall sense of imbalance. Vestibular rehab physiotherapy has been refined to deal with these and other issues related to this essential system of the human movement system.

What happens during therapy sessions?

In the first appointment for vestibular rehab you’ll have a discussion about symptoms and goals, and do a physical assessment. The physical assessment involves looking at eye and head movements, tests to check the neurological system, and observing balance and walking. Treatment involves exercises and/or physical maneuvers, depending on what is causing the symptoms. Some assessment and treatment techniques can provoke symptoms but this is usually short lasting, and minimized as much as possible. Follow up visits are 45 minutes to one hour. This therapy works best when you are willing to do home exercises regularly (often three to five minutes a few times a day). Generally, there is significant improvement in symptoms in four to six sessions. Often sessions are initially once per week or once every two weeks, then decrease in frequency to about once per month. The most common type of vertigo can be completely gone after one to two sessions.

Conditions that respond well
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular hypofunction/loss
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Inner ear disorders
  • Concussion/mild traumatic brain injury
  • Balance problems

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