What is vestibular rehab?
Vestibular rehab is an exercise– based program aimed at alleviating or reducing dizziness or lack of balance due to inner ear problems or problems with eye movements. People with inner ear problems often experience dizziness and impaired balance resulting in limited physical activity and falls. This can also lead to decreased endurance, range of motion, inability to drive, lost work days and diminished quality of life.
Who can benefit from vestibular rehab?
Not all dizziness is due to inner ear problems. It is very important that you are seen by your primary care physician or a specialist to confirm that the dizziness is due to inner ear problems prior to scheduling an appointment at the vestibular clinic. Following are few examples of diagnoses that can benefit from vestibular rehabilitation:
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
- Vestibular neuritis
- Vestibular Hypofunction
What can I expect during the evaluation?
There are multiple systems providing information to the brain to maintain balance. Important systems are eyes, joints and muscles and inner ears. The therapist will need to include these systems in the evaluation. Typical evaluation may last up to one hour. It is recommended to plan the evaluation with transportation help, as the symptoms can be increased for a short time after the evaluation.
The infrared video goggle system helps detect eye movements during vestibular assessment. It allows the therapist to adequately assess the eye movements. This improves diagnostic accuracy of vestibular conditions such as BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) and allows the therapist to plan appropriate and effective treatment.
The therapist will:
Begin with thorough medical history
Assess eye movements in relation to the head movements
Assess the vestibular system. Video goggles are used for monitoring and evaluation eye movements during assessment
What can I expect during the treatment?
Based on the assessment, the therapist will establish a customized exercise treatment plan for you. The treatment sessions may last 30-45 minutes. The exercises may include:
- Eye range of motion exercises
- Gaze stabilization or eye exercises
- Habituation exercises
- Balance exercises
- Canalith Repositioning Maneuver (commonly known as Epley maneuver)
- Home exercises and education
For more information about vestibular therapy services, call 217-862-0444.